18.05.2005 Business & Finance

De-regulation of the Petroleum Sector is the most courageous decision - IMF

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Accra, May 18, GNA - Dr Abbas Mirakhor, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said the Government's decision to de-regulate the petroleum sector was the most courageous and important economic decision taken by a government of Ghana over the past 25 years.

He said it was difficult for the people to appreciate revenue mobilised being used to support the petroleum sector instead of such monies being used to provide social services and undertake development projects, especially in the education and health sectors.

Dr Mirakhor made the observation when he paid a courtesy call on President John Agyekum Kufuor at the Castle, Osu.

He said the determination of the Government to access the International Capital Market should be pursued vigorously and not relied mostly on development partners.

Dr Mirakhor said Ghana's economy had grown from the 1990's and with a growth rate of about 5.7 per cent last year, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises should be offered the needed assistance to accelerate the economic growth.

He pledged the IMF's commitment to assist the Government accelerate the momentum of the country's economy based on the policies and programmes being implemented by the Government.

President Kufuor commended the IMF for its support to Ghana, especially when she opted for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative to the early completion point in a record period and still offered more support.

He said the challenge facing the Government was how to get Ghanaians to appreciate the need for the implementation of its policies and programmes to make the standard of living better for them. President Kufuor appealed to Ghana's development partners to assist the Government access financial assistance from the International Capital Market.

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