A Finance Lecturer and Associate Professor with Andrews University in Michigan, USA, Dr Williams Peprah, has welcomed the decision by the Bank of Ghana to increase the policy rate by a further 3 percentage points to 22%.
However, he is unhappy the Bank of Ghana failed to cap government borrowing to reduce inflation.
Reacting to the increase in the Central Bank’s base lending rate to commercial banks, Dr Peprah said the monetary authority should have put a cap on the amount government borrows, so far as it has put a limit on the primary reserves of banks.
“So far as the Central Bank has put a limit or has increased the primary reserves for banks, it must also put a cap on the amount [borrowings] government withdraws from its account which is called debt monetization or printing of money”.
According to him, the printing of money is one of the major impacts on increasing inflation, “so, I was hoping that the Central Bank will address the issue”.
He however said “the Bank of Ghana’s monetary policy decision of increasing the rate to 22% is a good thing that we need now in the country. Because, we’ve noticed the disparities between the monetary policy rate, inflation rate, and treasury bill rate.”
“At the moment, the Treasury bill rate is hovering around 27% and the difference between that one and the monetary policy rate is worrisome. So moving it up to 22% is something that will be able to address the issue”.
On the Central Bank’s decision to boost the supply of foreign exchange into the economy and help stabilise the cedi, Dr. Peprah said the Central Bank should not limit it to only three industries (mining, oil and banking), but also to the other sectors of the economy.
“The Central Bank should not limit its discussions to only these three industries, but also to the service sector by focusing on telecommunications, because the firms hold some foreign exchange exposure.
Indeed, the cost of borrowing already will go up as I have mentioned because banks are now pegging their cost of funds to the Treasury bill rate and not the monetary policy rate”.