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Business News of Thursday, 23 April 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Don’t pay salaries with stimulus package – Economist ‘warns’ gov't


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Professor William Baah Boateng, the Head of Economics Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, has cautioned government to desist from thinking of using its novel Coronavirus stimulus package to pay salaries of employees.

Rather, the money should be used to support ‘dying’ businesses so they can bounce back and employ many people.

He explained that it will not be best for government to use the stimulus package to just buy goods for Ghanaians to consume; instead, the government should invest in businesses to make returns that will help stabilize the economy.

The economist said: “I am expecting the stimulus package to help businesses to start something, those challenges that they are having to be able to get it back. I have a bit of challenge if you want to use the stimulus package to pay salaries and if you pay salaries, that salary will not get us any return”.

He made these comments in an interview on Citi TV’s Point of View Wednesday, April 22.

Meanwhile, government has promised to pay the three months salaries of public workers whether they stay at home or not, in a bid to alleviate their burden at this time that the country is fighting the deadly Coronavirus.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on March 30, stated in Parliament that government was ready with a stimulus package of GH¢1 billion for industry and citizens as the country battles the spread of the novel Coronavirus in Ghana.

Making his submission in parliament, the finance minister said: “Mr. Speaker, that is why, to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus on businesses and households and ensure that economic activities are sustained, whiles minimizing job losses, the President on Friday, March 27, 2020, announced the establishment of a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).

It is still not clear to the general public how funds will be disbursed.

Besides Ghana's economy is 90% informal, according to the finance minister in a recent article in which he asked "What is an African finance minister to do" under such circumstances. Yet, there is no indication of any help coming to the "mmobrowa" - the verandah boys and girls - apart from the sharing of cooked food brouhaha that has disgraced the whole nation.

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