COVID-19 Alleviation Program: GHS1bn stimulus package to revive affected industries
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President Akufo-Addo has announced that all households and small to medium scale enterprises are to benefit from a stimulus package of one billion Ghana cedis.
According to him, this is part of the creation of a Coronavirus Alleviation Program set up to cushion the impact of the novel coronavirus on SME’s and various industries in Ghana.
The president is optimistic that this program will revive the country’s affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the pandemic.
The announcement was made in The president’s State of the Nations Address to the citizens of Ghana on Friday night, March 27, on measures taken by his administration to contain the novel coronavirus.
What are the key objectives of the measures the Government has taken?
The Government seeks to achieve 5 key objectives which are;
- Limit and stop the importation of the virus
- Contain The spread of COVID19
- Provide adequate care for the sick
- Limit the impact of the virus on social and economic lives
- Inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.
Prevailing circumstances mean that stricter measures have to be put in place. To contain and halt the virus from spreading within the borders of the country in which a partial lockdown of a period of two weeks, subject to review.
"The Minister for Finance has been directed by me to prepare, for approval by Parliament, a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to address the disruption in economic activities, the hardship of our people, and to rescue and revitalize our industries. He will, then, immediately make available a minimum of one billion cedis (GH¢1 billion) to households and businesses, particularly small and medium scale enterprises. The commercial banks are, in addition, responding to the Bank of Ghana’s 1.5% decrease in the Policy Pate and 2% in reserve requirement with a three billion-cedi (GH¢3 billion) facility, to support industry especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, service and manufacturing sectors”
We are providing additional relief, such as extension of the tax filing date from April to June; a two percent (2%) reduction of interest rates by banks, effective 1st April, 2020; the granting by the banks of a six (6) month moratorium of principal repayments to entities in the airline and hospitality industries, i.e. hotels, restaurants, car rentals, food vendors, taxis, and uber operators. All other sector credit exposures will be reviewed on a case by case basis; mobile money users can send up to one hundred cedis (GH¢100) for free; and a one hundred percent (100%) to three hundred percent (300%) increase in the daily transaction limits for mobile money transactions”.