The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), has asked government to come out with its modalities for the disbursement of the GHS 600 million loan support scheme for small and medium scale enterprises, (SMEs).
The Association says the nature of the operations of its members, their huge numbers and capital needs, require that they have a fair idea of the government’s plan and further details to help them decide.
In a statement issued by the Association, its President, Dr. Joseph Obeng, said “We wish to bring to the attention of the government that the stimulus package being presented to us is very confusing. It does not state the intended target, threshold, adequacy of the fund and modalities of disbursement.”
“This due to the huge number of people in the sector, and the varied nature of the operations, as well as the capital needed for the members of each group. We expect that each group will be identified and allotted the appropriate amount,” the statement added.
They further noted that, though government’s support is well intended, it will not make the needed impact since “the specific target for the disbursement, as well as the threshold,” is not known.
The group is also urging government to urgently set up a Committee with its leaders to discuss issues related to the GHS 600 million loan support scheme, as “government has not created a committee of stakeholders since it announced the package to discuss and advise government on how best the package can be distributed to serve the intended purpose.”
It will also be recalled that the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey, at an Information Ministry’s COVID-19 press briefing on May 7 2020, announced that some two hundred companies within the SMEs sector will benefit from the government’s 600 million cedis stimulus package.
GUTA says going by Madam Yankey’s announcement, an average amount of three thousand Ghana cedis (GHS3,000.00) will be given to a beneficiary.
This, they say, “is grossly inadequate.”
They added that, the “statement of the CEO of NBSSI falls short of the modalities and specific target for the disbursement, as well as the threshold and investment rate involved.”
Additionally, the Association states that, “It is important to alert the Government that the announcement of the stimulus package has generated a lot of interest and expectations among greater majority of members of the business community, so Government should consider this fact, engage with us, to think through the entire package. Otherwise, this noble and good intention of the Government can be more of a problem than solution”.
As part of measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, President Akufo-Addo set aside 600 million cedis to help small businesses.
This is part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) to manage the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.