The Ghana Union of Traders, GUTA, has asked government to clarify the modalities for the disbursement of the GH₵600m loan scheme announced for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
The Association however believes the Government will soon come out with a mode of disbursing the stimulus packages.
“For the modalities, I know that very soon we will sit down with government and know how we will disburse this fund,” he said.
While at this, GUTA has, however, commended the Government for coming out with interventions to support the SMEs in the country, who have been badly hit by the covid-19 pandemic.
In an interview with Accra based Citi FM, which was monitored by the Ghana Talks Business, President of the Union, Dr Joseph Obeng said the bailout package will go a long way to reinvigorate the struggling businesses of its members.
“He has just announced this offer to us and we are very grateful. When this thing happened, we said that we are the worst affected in the trading community because we cannot travel to do business. Also, with the lockdown and couple with the banking crisis from last year where most of our capital was locked.
So, we have argued all the time that we are the worst affected and the coming of the coronavirus is the last straw that broke the back of the camel. We are indeed very grateful to the President”, Dr Obeng said.
He adds that most of their members have had their capital locked-up because they had paid deposits to their supplies to provide them with goods, but the goods have not come due to the outbreak of the global pandemic
Consequently, he said, “so if there is something to support us, then money can be given to you to do other things and also support us whiles we are waiting”.
“Almost all countries that have been affected are offering stimulus packages. The fact that we are not even travelling and the fact that you can also look within and do some alternatives rather than depending on the imports that is not coming is good, he added.
Due to the debilitating impact of the covid-19 on businesses, Government of Ghana has announced some stimulus packages to support households and businesses that have been greatly affected by the coronavirus disease
President Akuffo-Addo on Sunday, April 5, 2020, in an address to Ghanaians, announced a GH₵600m loan scheme for micro, small and medium scale enterprises. He referred to the package as “soft loans scheme”.
This he stated will be done in collaborations with the National Border for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business and Trade Associations as well as Rural and Commercial Banks.
The loans, he said, will however have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period.
Prior to this, President Akufo-Addo in his Friday, March 27, 2020 address to the nation directed Ghana’s finance minister to seek Parliament’s approval to spend GH₵1 billion under a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to cushion Ghanaians as government tightens measures to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus
In the said address, the President explained that the amount will mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus on businesses and households and ensure that job losses are minimized.
Furthermore, the President also announced the provision of additional relief, such as extension of the tax filing date from April to June.
Meanwhile, the Bankers Association of Ghana have also announced a 2% percent reduction in lending rates in response to Bank of Ghana’s policy rate reduction, announced earlier.