The leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), has appealed to the government to consider the leadership of the association to be part of the committee that will oversee the disbursement of the GHS600m loan support scheme for small and medium scale enterprises, (SMEs).
It can be recalled that President Akufo-Addo in his address to Ghanaians on Sunday, April 5, 2020 announced that, the government will roll out a soft loan scheme of up to six hundred million Ghana cedis for small to medium scale enterprises due to the economic impact of the pandemic on businesses especially SMEs.
“Government, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks, will roll out a soft loan scheme up to a total of six hundred million cedis (GHS600 million), which will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for micro, small and medium scale businesses,” the president said.
The decision to roll out the soft loan scheme follows the outbreak of the coronavirus which has rendered many businesses inactive thereby, loosing income and returns.
The Association in a statement signed by the President, Dr. Joseph Obeng, wants the disbursement of the funds to be carried out without politicization to ensure that funds are distributed in a fair and transparent manner.
“With regards to the 600 million Ghana cedis earmarked for the support of SMEs, we would appeal to the government to include leadership of the trade Associations on the committee(s) that will oversee the disbursement of the fund to the rightful beneficiaries and it should be done in a fair, transparent and equitable manner, devoid of partisan politics,” it noted.
GUTA urged the beneficiaries of the loan to use the funds for its intended purpose in order to encourage the association appeal to the government for more of such interventions.
“We will appeal to the public not to do politics with this critical national issue but to cooperate with the leadership of the country to see Ghana out of the doldrums. We would also entreat whoever happens to benefit from the package to endeavour to use the money for the purpose it is intended so as to be able to pay back as may be arranged and agreed by the authorities,” the statement said.
The statement further commended the government for the timely interventions and efforts to lessen the effect of the deadly COVID-19 on people and the economy.
“The intervention is not only timely but also appropriate in the sense that the issue is not only of health but also of serious adverse effect on every sphere of life; leaving the entire global community in an atmosphere of uncertainty to which everyone can attest to. This intervention will go a long way to mitigate the plight of the business community in the country,” the statement added.
Other Stimulus package set out for businesses
The Government has also announced a GHS1bn stimulus package for businesses to sustain businesses during this dire time.
President Akufo-Addo on March 27th, 2020 announced that all households and small to medium scale enterprises are to benefit from the stimulus package of one billion Ghana cedis.
This, according to him, is part of the creation of a Coronavirus Alleviation Program to revive the country’s affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the pandemic.