Pensioners who have bought government bonds say they are not demanding their principal from the government now but rather their interests.
The group also continues to mount pressure on the government to exclude them from the domestic debt exchange programme (DDEP).
The Minister of Finance had announced that the government would implement a voluntary DEP as part of measures to reduce the debt burden and give the government some breathing space to deal with the fiscal challenges facing the country.
With the DEP, domestic bondholders will see big drops in their interest rates and their investments will be held for longer.
Investors in dollar-denominated Eurobonds will also have to deal with lower interest rates and the loss of up to 30% of the principal amounts invested.
In addition, domestic debt investors will be asked to exchange their existing securities for new ones that may offer a zero coupon in the first year, five per cent in the second and 10 per cent in the third year.
Holders of short-term debt securities, comprising Treasury bills of 91 days, 182 days, and 364 days, will be excluded from the DEP.
Figures from the Central Securities Depository show that pension funds hold six percent of the government’s domestic debt.
Earlier, the Pensioners who have bought government bonds threatened to embark on picketing at the Ministry of Finance on Monday, February, 6, 2023 to press home their demands for an exemption of their bonds from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme.
This was after attempts to have their investment exempted from the debt exchange programme failed.
Speaking on Atinka TV‘s morning show, Ghana Nie with Ama Gyenfa Ofosu Darkwa, he said all they needed from the government was their interest.
“If you used to collect 25 percent interest on your principal, now the government says it has reduced that to 15 percent.” Some people had 30 percent, and theirs has also been reduced to 15 percent. Meanwhile, the prices of medicine have gone up.
“Someone used to buy medicine for high blood pressure for GH¢400, but now, he is buying it for GH¢900, so if you reduce the money he can use to buy the medicine, he cannot buy the medicine, which means that he will die,” he said.
Dr. Antwi said, “Nobody has stated he is taking his principal from the government now, we want it to be there so that we get interest in it. We have not asked the government to give us our principal.”