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We need to live within our means – Dr Emmanuel Oteng Kumah (VIDEO)

We need to live within our means - Dr Emmanuel Oteng Kumah

We need to live within our means – Dr Emmanuel Oteng Kumah

An international economic consultant, Dr Emmanuel Oteng Kumah, has called for an independent body of experts to help instill fiscal discipline by ensuring that the government strictly complied with its economic programme.

The former Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the new body must be given legal powers to whip finances in line, as part of efforts to stop the recurrent fiscal slippages and the resulting resort to the Bretton Woods institution for bailouts.

Dr Kumah, who led the fund to execute bailout programmes for Djibouti, said at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra Wednesday, that evidence showed that the economy performed better whenever there was an IMF programme but deteriorated after the support had ended.

That, he said meant that the country lacked self discipline and will-power to adopt and implement prudent fiscal policies, which are necessary to keep spending in line and grow revenues.

“Whenever we have a programme with the IMF, we always behave but when we go outside the programme, our fiscal situation misbehaves. So, clearly, there is something that we need to institutionalise.

“I do not know where you will put this organisation but we need something, may be extra Presidential, that says that after a programme, it will have the authority to look at every budget and programme to make sure that all targets are met.

“That to me, is our major problem.

“Many Ghanaians may say it is not right to have a body that is not elected to be supervising our finances but I am afraid to say that the 17 times at the IMF suggests that we need to think seriously about how to resolve this permanently,” he said.


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