The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), has petitioned government asking that its leadership is selected to be part of the Committee that will manage the disbursement of the GHS600 million loan support scheme for small and medium scale enterprises, (SMEs).
According to them, this will ensure that funds are distributed in a fair and transparent manner.
In a statement by the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, the group is also asking that the disbursement of funds be done devoid of politics.
“With regards to the 600 million Ghana cedis earmarked for the support of SMEs, we would appeal to the government to include leadership of the trade Associations on the committee(s) that will oversee the disbursement of the fund to the rightful beneficiaries and it should be done in fair, transparent and equitable manner, devoid of partisan politics,” the statement noted.
It will be recalled that President Akufo-Addo in his address to Ghanaians on Sunday [April 5, 2020] announced that, government is set to roll out a soft loan scheme of up to six hundred million Ghana cedis for small to medium scale enterprises following the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.
Among other demands, the Association is urging the beneficiaries of the loan to use the funds for its intended purpose as “this will then encourage the Trade Associations to appeal to government for sustenance of the package as a revolving fund for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations.”
“We will appeal to the public not to do politics with this critical national issue but to cooperate with the leadership of the country to see Ghana out of the doldrums. We would also entreat whoever happens to benefit from the package to endeavour to use the money for the purpose it is intended so as to be able to pay back as may be arranged and agreed by the authorities,” it said.
The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations further commended government for the timely interventions intended to lessen the effect of the deadly COVID-19 on people and the economy.
“The intervention is not only timely but also appropriate in the sense that the issue is not only of health but also of serious adverse effect on every sphere of life; leaving the entire global community in an atmosphere of uncertainty to which everyone can attest to. This intervention will go a long way to mitigate the plight of the business community in the country,” the statement added.
Currently, the country has recorded 636 cases with 8 deaths and 17 recoveries.
Government announces GHS1bn stimulus package for businesses
Also, to sustain businesses in the wake of the pandemic, President Akufo-Addo on March 27th, 2020 announced that all households and small to medium scale enterprises are to benefit from a stimulus package of one billion Ghana cedis.
This, according to him, is part of the creation of a Coronavirus Alleviation Program to revive the country’s affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the pandemic.