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Business News of Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Source: Laud Business

Coronavirus: I don’t foresee taxes being reduced – Lord Mensah

Dr Lord Mensah, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, has said he is not expecting the government to reduce taxes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rather, he said, the government is expected to make funds available to the banks to make them more liquid, a situation that will enable them to provide loans to businesses at a reduced interest rate.

Speaking on the Business Focus programme hosted by Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Monday, July 6, Dr Mensah said: “I expect that the government will find a way to reenergize the system, finding liquidity into the banks so that it can get to the various businesses. I don’t foresee taxes being reduced.”

He added: “Government is going to produce stimulus package, those packages will come through the corridors of the bank in the form of interest rates reduction, in the form of the banks having enough liquid to ensure that they distribute funds.

Meanwhile, months after the government announced the stimulus package to support businesses in the wake of the COVID-19, Dr Edward Ackah Nyamike, President Ghana Hotels Association, has revealed no member of his association has yet received the stimulus package although they have applied to benefit from the funds.

He told Alfred Ocansey on the same show that the situation is negatively affecting their work since costumers are no longer patronizing the services of the hotels due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has made available GHS600million to be distributed to businesses by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).

The NBSSI subsequently, has developed an online portal to enable small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) across the country access the GH¢600 million stimulus package for businesses.

Executive Director of NBSSI, Esi Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey, said the portal was to ensure transparency and efficiency in the disbursement of the package to applicants.

Speaking at a press briefing in Accra, she explained that the Board was in discussions with concerned stakeholders to come up with eligibility criteria to ensure that viable businesses which were in need were supported.

She stated that more than 200,000 businesses would be supported under the coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package for SMEs adding that the NBSSI was further engaging traders and business owners to sensitise them on the package and how they could access it.

But Dr Ackah-Nyamekeh told Ocansey that: “Four months into the pandemic no hotel members has a pesewa from this stimulus package.

The government talked about GHS600 million which the NBSSI has been tasked to disburse, that was opened to all small, medium and micro-size businesses.

“The last time I checked they have received almost about 200,000 applications. The NBSSI said when you send the application, two weeks’ time they will disburse the money to you but it has not happened.

“We understand that some SMEs have received theirs but we don’t know. We have been asking the NBSSI to tell us but they haven’t.”