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Minority to haul Finance Minister, BoG Governor before Parliament over new currency notes

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Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance Minister

The Minority Caucus in Parliament on Wednesday served notice to haul Finance Minster Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana to clarify issues surrounding the issue of higher denomination Ghana cedi notes.

The two are also to clarify government position on Ghana’s commitment to adopt the new regional currency Eco.

“We intend… to invite the Minister of Finance to Parliament to clarify governments position on Ghana’s earlier commitment to adopt the new regional Eco currency in January 2020”, Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu said.

Mr Iddrisu led members from on the Minority Side to express their views on the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) issuance of the new currencies, at press conference at Parliament House in Accra.

He stated earlier: “We shall in the coming days be initiating steps to summon the Governor of the BoG to appear before the House and present a detailed report on the exercise.”

Mr Iddrisu said public resources were expended on the exercise hence the Government owed it a duty to be transparent about the exercise.

He said the Minority’s would question the Governor on the total cost incurred on the exercise, cost of each note compared to each face value, the utilization of seigniorage revenue to be raised and the quantity of each ordered.

The BoG, on Friday November 29, 2019 issued two higher denomination of the Ghana cedi notes GH¢100 and GH¢200 and GH¢2 coin which would replace GH¢2 notes soon.

The Central Bank also in last May introduced upgraded currency notes.

“Ghanaians are still waiting for governor of the Central bank to render account of the cost of printing the upgraded currency,” Mr Iddrisu said, and insinuated that the ruling Government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would use the revenue to be raised as seigniorage from the issue of the new currencies to finance the 2020 election campaign of the NPP.

The Minority described as unsatisfactory explanation from the Governor of the BoG to use the new higher denominations to complement the existing series to ensure customer convenience and bring about efficiency in the printing of currency to generate savings for the country.

“This amounts to an affront to the paperless economy,” the Minority insisted.

The Minority questioned the basis for the explanation from the Central Bank Governor that the new currencies would restore the dollar value of the higher denomination to about $40 and significantly reduce the dead weight burden in a cash based economy like Ghana.

It wondered if Ghana has a dollar pegged as its currency regime.

The NDC caucus said it does not believe that simply increasing the currency bound would suddenly increase Ghana’s economic fortunes compared to the US, explaining that productivity growth and investment in addition to other factors are rather the determinants of long term growth.

“Moreover Ghana does not have a parity regime with the US dollar and therefore “there is no reason why we should seek to have the cedi indexed to the US dollar,” the Minority said.

It added: “It is surprising the Governor is actually making such an argument.”

The NDC caucus accused the government of having put in place “a managed flouting regime whereby the BoG intervenes in the foreign exchange market to smooth out excessive volatility.”

Source: GNA

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