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Business News of Saturday, 16 June 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Minister Cautions Businesses

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh has warned Ghanaian businesses, which received financial assistance from government and failed to pay back, to do so or have their names published in the media.

Ms Tetteh, who challenged the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to publish the names of defaulting companies, noted that “it is unfortunate that most businesses have the perception that government money is everybody’s money so it is not an obligation to pay back.”

She said “if the names of the companies together with their debt outstanding are made public, Ghanaians will be surprised to see the equity investment of the government in a lot of private companies.”

The minister was addressing a roundtable discussion on Ghana’s economy, which was organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra.

The forum, which was on the theme, Ghana’s Transformation into a middle Income Country Investment Climate and Trade Opportunities, was the highlight of the visit to Ghana by Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Villy Soundal, who was accompanied by a six-member trade delegation.

Ms Tetteh emphasised that government had decided not to support any business which has payment to make.

“These are some of the things we need to begin to apply for people to realize that there is no free lunch,” she emphasised. She emphasised that contrary to the assertion that only foreign companies enjoy tax holidays and exemptions, local industries that put in place the right structures could also benefit.

On his part, Mr. Soundal said relations between Ghana and Denmark had been cordial.

He said the investors, who accompanied him on the visit, would look at investment opportunities in the energy sector, agriculture, communications and within the health care industry.

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