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Business News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Source: Laud Business

GH¢600m stimulus package too small; can’t rebuild economy – TUC boss

The Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, (TUC) Dr. Yaw Baah, has noted that the GH¢600 million stimulus package the government has earmarked to assist small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) is woefully inadequate.

He said the amount will not be able to restore the economy to where it was before the COVID-19, therefore the government must increase the amount.

Government will start disbursing the GH¢600 million stimulus package to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in May this year as part of efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 on businesses, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, announced during his 7th COVID-19 national address to Ghanaians on Sunday, 19th April 2020.

He explained that the GH¢600m forms part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.

“I know the effects of the measures to contain the virus have been difficult for many, and that is why I mandated the creation of the GH¢1.2 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to support households and businesses.

“Out of this amount, six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million) of assistance is being provided to micro, small and medium-scale businesses. I expect disbursements of the six hundred million cedis to start in May,” he stated.

But speaking at the National Tripartite Committee meeting in Accra on Tuesday April 28, Dr Yaw Baah said: “yes there has been GHS600 million for SMEs but that is not enough to bring the economy back to where we were before this COVID 19 crisis.”

But reacting to his comments, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, said the cut in electricity tariff by the government forms part of the stimulus package for businesses.

“Perhaps if you take the cost of raw materials and the cost of labour for many businesses what comes next is the cost of energy.

“So if government decides to take or halve the cost of energy to industry it is some kind if stimulus. I am not saying that should be all, there can be other forms of stimulus,” he said.

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