The Bank of Ghana (BoG) will today announce measures to ease foreign exchange controls to allow withdrawals up to US$10,000 without proof of travel.
The measures come after a thorough review of the controls the central bank introduced in February this year to halt the depreciation of the cedi.
The earlier measures limited access to foreign exchange and restricted local trade transactions to the cedi.
Under current regulations, foreign exchange and foreign currency account holders are required to provide documentation for transfers outside Ghana and are only able to withdraw up to the equivalent of US$10,000 for travel abroad.
That restriction is expected to be relaxed and foreign currency account holders will no longer need to show proof of travel in order to withdraw from their foreign account.
A source at the BoG told the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity that businesses that provided services for non-resident Ghanaians would quote their prices in cedis but could collect dollars.
Another measure that is expected to be relaxed is the prohibition of offshore currency transactions by resident Ghanaian companies.
Again, the restrictions that require exporters to collect and repatriate in full the proceeds of their exports to their local banks within 60 days of shipment are also expected to be relaxed.
BoG under pressure
The BoG came under heavy criticism from some economists and business concerns over the imposition of the foreign exchange regulations which were intended “to streamline the collection and repatriation of export proceeds to Ghana”.
Addressing the opening session of the recently held three-day National Economic Forum at Senchi in the Eastern Region, the President had called on the BoG to review the forex restriction in order to reduce the hardship on businesses.
Meeting with businesses
According to the source, the BoG had earlier planned to allow foreign exchange withdrawals of up to US$20,000 by foreign exchange account holders but had to maintain the US$10,000 withdrawal on the advice of the business sector.
But since the introduction of those measures, the cedi had declined by more than 20 per cent and is now trading against the dollar at more than GH¢3.