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General News of Monday, 30 March 2020

Source: Kasapa FM

Coronavirus: Finance Minister to brief Parliament on government's stimulus package


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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta is expected in Parliament today Monday (March 30, 2020) to brief the House on measures adopted by government to sustain the economy following the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Parliament on Saturday received a request from the Government of Ghana (GoG) to approve an agreement with the World Bank for an amount of $35 million to support Government’s operations in dealing with the coronavirus.

The proposed agreement, which was laid before the House on Saturday, is between the GoG and the International Development Association (IDA), a subsidiary of the World Bank.

Ahead of the Finance Minister’s briefing, the House on Saturday, also debated a One Billion Cedi Coronavirus Alleviation Programme stimulus package announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The sitting by the legislature was an additional day from the normal four days a week-sitting.

Background

President Akufo-Addo directed the Finance minister to prepare for approval by parliament a coronavirus alleviation programme to address the disruption in economic activities following the scourge of the covid-19 pandemic.

To this end, the Finance Minister is required to make available a minimum of 1 billion cedis to households and business, particularly small and medium scale entreprises, President Akufo-Addo disclosed this in a national broadcast late Friday.



He stressed:”As a responsive government we continue to implement bold measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on businesses and housing and ensure that job losses are minimized.”

Meanwhile, the commercial banks are in addition responding to the Bank of Ghana’s 1.5% decrease in the policy rate.

Also President Akufo-Addo emphasized 2% in reserve requirement with a 3 billion cedi facility to support Industry, especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, service and manufacturing sectors.

“We’re providing additional relief such as extension of the tax filing day from April to June, a 2% reduction of interest rates by banks effective 1st April, 2020, the granting by the banks of the 6 months moratorium, a principal repayment to entities in the Airline and hospitality industries, i.e hotels, restaurants, car rentals, food vendors, taxis and uber operators.”

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