Government is to use a social intervention programme, the “Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support” (Ghana-CARES), to bring the economy back on track.
The programme, christened, “Obatampa” is expected to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians and ensure that the country quickly “emerge from the pandemic with stronger and more resilient economy.”
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, who announced this at the mid-year budget review in Parliament on Thursday, said the 100 billion cedi programme would be implemented in two phases.
He said a stabilization phase would start from July to the end of the year with medium-term revitalisation phase aiming at accelerating the Ghana Beyond Aid economic transformation agenda.
The Minister said the stabilisation phase would extend some programmes already being run by government such as ensuring food security, protecting businesses and workers, strengthening the health system.
He said Government would also through Parliament pass some legislations to attract investors and support Ghanaian businesses during the economic revitalisation and transformation phase. Mr Ofori-Atta said recognising the hardships that Ghanaians were experiencing, government had decided to extend the provision of free water supply for another three months and also extend free electricity supply for those on life line tariffs for three additional months.
He said that, would help the citizenry sustain quality of life and also uphold the hygiene protocols needed to fight the pandemic.
The Finance Minister said government was increasing the funding to the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP-BUSS) to reach millions of Ghanaians in the Micro, Small and Medium size Enterprises (MSMEs) that made up 70 per cent of the country’s labour force.
“Government will be taking several measures to help businesses meet the challenges of COVID-19 and to protect workers. First, Government will pay its outstanding obligations to contractors and suppliers, to inject liquidity into the system and ease the cash flow difficulties of businesses,” he added.
Mr Ofori-Atta said there were also plans to establish an unemployment insurance scheme and modernise the country for rapid socioeconomic growth.