Domestic Debt Exchange: Exclude rural banks, individuals – IEA to government

Dr. John Kwakye

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) is asking the government to exclude rural banks, individual bondholders and pension funds from the Domestic Debt Exchange programme given their relative financial vulnerability.

According to the Director of Research, Dr. John Kwakye, government should be seen to lead the way in burden-sharing in cutting expenditure, especially spending on goods and services, projects and flagship programmes.

He explained that since contributions from rural banks are intended for less privileged individuals, pursuing their hard-earned money is needless.

“Rural banks again? Because they take monies from the poor people and invest in government bonds, why will you seize their monies.”

“If there is anything at all, deal with the commercial banks”, he lamented

On the three-year moratorium on the repayment of principal for the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, he insisted on its abolishment, asking the government to adopt a new coupon of 8-12% over the new maturity period.

“They need to adopt a new coupon regime of 8-12 percent over the new maturity period and also consider abolishing the 3-year moratorium on the repayment of principal to save individuals and banks”, he added.

The IEA also said the current form of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme will cause a substantial financial loss to individual and institutional bondholders “who through no faults of theirs, are being made to bear the brunt of fiscal profligacy perpetrated by our economic managers”.

It reiterated that this will severely dent confidence in government bonds.