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07.10.2005 Business & Finance

IMF urges debt free countries to be financially disciplined

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Accra, Oct. 7, GNA - The International Monetary and Finance Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Friday advised countries that benefited from total debt cancellation to be financially disciplined to avoid falling back into the quagmire.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who announced this on arrival in Accra, after attending an IMF meeting in the United States and the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in Barbados said the Committee also underscored the need for the recipient countries to demonstrate sound economic policies coupled with high standards of governance as impetus to move their economies forward. He noted that the cut-off date for the debt cancellation was slated for December 31, this year, while the implementation date had been fixed for July 1, next year.

The Minister said Ghana's 4.1 billion dollar debt cancellation would provide additional resources for the country's efforts at meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and re-enforce its long-term debt sustainability.

Mr Baah-Wiredu stated that monies accruing from the relief would be used to step up development projects particularly in the health, education, road and energy sectors.

He expressed concern about the high and volatile rise in prices of petroleum products, which he said had been occasioned by the effects of recent natural disasters.

The meeting he said, also discussed agricultural subsidies among other issues, which were expected to be exhausted thoroughly at the forthcoming WTO meeting in Hong Kong, to reflect the economic situations in the various countries.

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