The government is developing a three-year COVID-19 alleviation programme to be known as “The Ghana Cares Programme” to help rescue the economy from the clutches of the coronavirus pandemic.
The impact of the coronavirus disease on the Ghanaian economy could last for three years, the government had predicted.
“To address this, the President has directed the Ministry of Finance to come up with stabilisation and a revitalisation plan for the country.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Finance is developing a three-year COVID-19 alleviation and revitalisation of enterprise support programme; ‘The Ghana Cares Programme’ to help stabilise and revitalise the country’s economy.
“We are confident that this programme will lead us on a journey of achieving a Ghana Beyond Aid,” Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament in Accra yesterday.
Mr Ofori-Atta made this known in an explanatory statement when he laid a report on the limit of borrowing by government under subsection (6) of Section 30 of the Bank of Ghana Act in the coronavirus emergency.
According to him, the Bank of Ghana had released GH¢5.5billion of a GH¢10 billion COVID-19 support fund in line with the emergency financing provisions under the Bank of Ghana Act, to deal with shocks that had accompanied the coronavirus pandemic.
The coupon rate, he said, was pegged at the prevailing monetary policy rate with a 10-year tenure and a two-year moratorium on both principal and interest payment.
Government, Finance Minister said remains unwavering in protecting lives and sustaining livelihoods and rebuilding the country’s agric and industrial sector so as to position the country on the path of growth.
“Mr Speaker, these are sobering times and a test of our own humanity and how to be our brothers’ keeper,” he preached.
Even as the country develops the ‘Ghana Cares Programme’, he said it was time burdens were shared for the common good of the country.
“Whatever stimulus package would help us claw back our five per cent GDP that we’ve lost, Mr Speaker, we intend to do it.
“It is a period of sacrifice; burden sharing and we have to avoid any spiritual stupor by ensuring that everyone is taken care of.
“In this vein, we would like to live on some of Gandhi’s principles – a period of three years of politics with principles, wealth that comes from work, commerce that is through morality, pleasure that is conscionable, education of character, science that has a human face and work that has sacrifice attached to it.
“We are confident that we will come out of this much stronger and much greater. So we remain more hopeful that our land will overflow with prosperity and we will leave no one behind as we build a greater society.”
The programme is a top-up to the GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme to cushion small and medium scale enterprises against the vagaries of the coronavirus pandemic.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI