In a bid to cushion Ghana’s economy of the impact of coronavirus, Government has made available a stimulus package of a minimum of GHc 1 billion to households and businesses, particularly small and medium scale enterprises.
This was announced by President Akufo-Addo during his address to the nation on the updates to Ghana’s enhanced response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In view of this, the President noted that, the minister for finance will seek parliamentary approval for a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to address the disruption in economic activities.
“The Minister for Finance has been directed by me to prepare, for approval by Parliament, a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to address the disruption in economic activities, the hardship of our people, and to rescue and revitalize our industries,” he said. “He will, then, immediately make available a minimum of GHc 1 billion to households and businesses, particularly small and medium scale enterprises.”
The President also mentioned that commercial banks are effectively responding to the Bank of Ghana’s 1.5 percent decrease in the Policy Pate and 2.0 percent in reserve requirement with a GHc 3 billion facility.
“The commercial banks are, in addition, responding to the Bank of Ghana’s 1.5 percent decrease in the Policy Pate and 2.0 percent in reserve requirement with a GHc 3 billion facility, to support industry especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, service and manufacturing sectors.”
The BoG in its assessment indicated that the negative impact of COVID-19 on exports, imports, taxes, and foreign exchange receipts will culminate in a slowdown in economic activity. Hence, GDP growth is forecasted to decline to 5.0 percent in a baseline scenario. In the worst-case scenario, GDP growth estimates could be halved to about 2.5 percent this year.
Further to the stimulus package, the President indicated that government will be providing additional relief, such as extension of the tax filing date from April to June; a two percent reduction of interest rates by banks, effective April 1, 2020.
Banks are expected to grant a six-month moratorium of principal repayments to entities in the airline and hospitality industries, such as hotels, restaurants, car rentals, food vendors, taxis, and uber operators.
All other sector credit exposures will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Mobile money users can send up to GHc 100 for free; and a 100 percent to 300 percent increase in the daily transaction limits for mobile money transactions.