Ghana vice-president calls for action to halt currency slide

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana Vice-President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur called on the finance minister and the central bank to adopt "pragmatic measures" to halt the slide of the local cedi currency, a statement released by the presidency showed on Friday.

The cedi plunged nearly 20 percent in 2013 and has remained weak in January, mainly due to increased demand for dollars from importers.

The statement did not give details of any specific actions sought by Amissah-Arthur, a former central bank governor who heads the government's economic management team charged with offering economic policy recommendations.

"The Economic Management Meeting reviewed major developments in the economy with regard to current fiscal situation especially the exchange rate, revenue mobilization and government expenditure," it added.

Amissah-Arthur said the government is likely to stick to its fiscal targets for this year, according to the statement.

Ghana, which exports cocoa, gold and oil, missed a series of 2013 fiscal targets, including its budget deficit, which is estimated to have stood at 10.2 percent for 2013 compared with a target of 9 percent.

Amissar-Arthur also discussed issues relating to the country's public sector wage bill, which the government has said is sapping the budget, according to the statement.

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