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Parliament didn’t have details of Domestic Debt Exchange – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has revealed that Parliament was not presented with the details of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme before the announcement by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has revealed that Parliament was not presented with the details of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme before the announcement by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The Suame MP speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, January 16, said there were broad discussions about the economy but they did not have the details of the debt exchange programme.

“There were meetings before the budget came to be consummated and later on presented by the Finance Minister. So we had broad discussions, but the details were not known to us at the time, but some consultations went on as to where exactly we were as a nation. But I am not too sure that this matter came up for discussion maybe the broad strokes were mentioned but not the details,” Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told host Bernard Avle.

The government’s deadline for bondholders to sign onto the domestic debt exchange programme expires today, Monday, January 16, 2023.

In the government’s quest to address the country’s ongoing economic challenges, the government launched the programme to invite holders of bonds to voluntarily exchange approximately GH¢137 billion domestic notes and bonds of the Republic including ESLA and Daakye for a package of new bonds.

Mr Mensah-Bonsu also reiterated his earlier call to the Finance Minister to undertake extensive consultations on the debt exchange programme to allow bondholders better understand their options.

On Friday, January 13, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs said involving individual bondholders in the Domestic Debt Exchange programme could wipe out the middle class and negatively affect the savings culture of Ghanaians.

Speaking with a group of individual bondholders led by convener, Senyo Hosi and private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu after a petition to exclude individual bondholders from the debt exchange was presented to him on Friday, the Suame MP called on the Finance Minister to properly engage with major stakeholders.

“What we [are] talking about is that many of these bondholders also belong to the middle class and that’s where the major worry is. If we are wiping away the middle class, that could be dangerous, so we need to have some further dialogue on this.

“Government thinks that this is the best way forward, however, even if it is, we need to engage, reflect and then move on and that will encourage some people who have some doubt to better appreciate where we are.”

“Nothing can substitute for discussions, round table discussions and engagements wherever we find ourselves in. I think it’s important that we go back to the drawing table to have engagements with the major stakeholders… All of us are in it. And if we don’t manage it well, we’ve gone through this before, way back some 25, 30 years ago and repositioning was a major, major difficulty.

“Today many people are coming on board and if this thing should happen, how do we build confidence and trust and reconstruct a new savings culture?”

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Source: citinewsroom.com

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