Please don't go for IMF bail-outs - Kofi Asamoah

the economy

Kofi AsamoahPlease don't go for IMF bail-outs - Kofi Asamoah

06 May 2014

Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress has warned the President not to go for economic assistance from IMF despite serious fiscal pressures facing the country. Kofi Asamoah has observed, "history has no example of development" using economic polices promoted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB).



His comments were made at the celebration of May Day- a national holiday for all workers. Several workers gathered at the Independence Square on Thursday, to celebrate the 2014 National May Day Parade under the theme ' Ghana's economy: A concern for all".

But the celebrations were noisy with brass band activity interfering with keynote speeches by the President John Mahama and TUC Secretary-General Kofi Asamoah.

Ghana's is facing fiscal challenges with government struggling to find much-needed funds to carry out its programs. The IMF has said it is ready to welcome Ghana, should its leaders request for any economic assistance known as a bail-out.

But this cannot be the way to go, argued the Secretary-General noting, conditionalities attached to such foreign help have had a negative impact on the economy. He particularly noted, the economy was too liberal.

Providing evidence for this view, Kofi Asamoah said although banks are reaping a lot of profit, businesses they purport to support are suffering under huge interest rates.

He noted the "high and low profile cases of corruption" was also a reflection of Ghana's reliance on policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

He advised government to use its "visible hand" to tamper the harsh effect of capitalism's invisible hands.

The visible hand is understood as moves by a government that restrict or supercedes the market's policies deemed harsh.

Fuel prices have increased at least three times this year as a result of an automatic price adjustment formula. This has left fuel - the strongest determinant of prices of goods and services - under the control of market forces.

Ghanaians are feeling the effect of consistent fuel price increases, Mr. Asamoah noted. Increases in utility tariffs last year, he bemoaned, has made matters worse.

He also used the occasion to warn government not to sign another neo-liberal policy such as the EPA in "its current form" because it will not augur well for Ghana development.

He said history has no example of a country that has developed under a very liberal regime such as Ghana's economy.

His advice is that, government should take charge of Ghana's development instead of leaving it in private multinational hands.




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