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Parliament approves $35m World Bank loan for Covid-19 fight

Parliament has approved a $35 million World Bank loan for Ghana’s fight against Coronavirus.

The World Bank will disburse the funds under the rapid credit facility aimed at fighting covid-19

The money will augment government’s budget for the fight against the deadly virus.

Government has faced resistance over the possibility of resorting to the Heritage fund in its fight against the virus.

Meanwhile, a former chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is demanding that government comes clear on how it is going to police the use of funds it is demanding from legally appropriated oil funds, for COVID 19 emergency expenditures.

According to Mr Kwame Jantuah, Ghanaians cannot trust government to use resources from the futuristic Heritage and the Stabilization Fund to mitigate the social and economic shocks of the Coronavirus pandemic without an accompanying clear accountability and transparency plan.

As part of its COVID-19 Economic Mitigation Plans, the finance ministry among other demands is requesting an amendment of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to allow government to tap into the US$591 million valued Heritage Fund and to review the cap on the Stabilization Fund from US$300 million to US$100 million.

The finance ministry is also looking to draw down some transfers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank while locally deferring the Bank of Ghana’s interest payments on non-marketable instruments to 2022 and beyond;

Mr. Juantoah points out that reckless expenditure by successive governments and the yawning gap of poor accountability makes it difficult for the ordinary citizen to trust government to be given unfettered access to these funds for its Covid – 19 Alleviation Program (CAP).

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