The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) has announced its readiness for government’s plan to disburse some US$50 million as stimulus package for over 300 distressed indigenous companies this month.
The President of the GNCC, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I, at the launch of the maiden edition of the Chamber Business Awards in Accra said they are very eager to receive the stimulus package as promised by end of this month.
However, he welcomed the government’s intervention and described it as a timely SOS to distress Ghanaian companies.
“The Ministry first consulted us to come up with list of companies that are viable but are distressed and so in response, we sent the list and we are aware that, some of the companies are being considered in the bailout package if you will call it. We see it as a very important and viable move because, to move to the unknown to the known where there is help is very important for us,” he said.
“Now that there is hope for companies that are good, can be expanded and put back to operation. Remember that some of these companies though are good as I said don’t have the finances and other related logistics and that is why this package has come at an opportune time,” he added.
He advised management and owners of the beneficiary companies to make judicious use of the funds and ensure that their companies are revived and expanded to create more jobs.
Already, some captains of businesses have mounted pressure on the government to make its stimulus package for businesses, available by the end of June this year.
Among the numerous interventions by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to make local businesses more competitive, is the provision of financial support to some distressed businesses in the private sector.
Government has promised a US$100 million stimulus package to the private sector for the revival of distressed companies.”
But the distressed businesses are yet to tap into the support.
President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), James Asare Adjei has said, the provision of the support by the end of June should be sufficient for the growth of qualifying businesses.
“We believe that businesses cannot wait any longer…well we believe that if by the end of the second quarter, it’ll be most appreciated,” James Asare Adjei said.
Even though Mr. Adjei believes expediting the process could pose some constraints, he contended that a further delay will aggravate the challenges that businesses are grappling with.
But, according to Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen, his outfit was currently reviewing some businesses tipped to benefit from the package.
Already, 50 million dollars have been allocated as seed money to support the beneficiary businesses.
An additional 150 million dollars is expected to be allocated to support the shortlisted businesses.
Mr Kyerematen also noted that, as part of government’s attempt to empower the private sector to encourage and promote a production economy instead of tax economy has announced a number of tax softening policies for the private businesses.
One of them, he said, private sector businesses would from next year begin paying less in corporate taxes, which is one of the policies to relief the sector of tax burden.
The slash in corporate taxes was among the numerous tax incentives promised by the NPP government ahead of the 2016 elections.
The move was, however, missing from the tax incentives provided in this year’s budget.
But, Trade and Industry Minister says the eventual implementation should bring relief to businesses and help them expand to achieve economic growth.
“In response to complaints from industry players, particularly the AGI, government has promised to reduce corporate taxes from 25% to 20% this is on course to be implemented from next year,” Alan Kyerematen stated.
“We believe that the private sector which creates employment opportunities should be supported with programs and policies that facilitate growth,” the Minister added.
Meanwhile, Mr Adjei, maintained that they will offer their continuous support towards the success of the programme.
“There is the need to also put in place impact assess mechanism that after the stimulus package has been given to industries we are able to determine how they are going to assess the extent to which the stimulus has impacted on the operations of the beneficiary businesses.”
“Whether they have been able to employ more or improved their turnovers? Simply, what are the benchmarks to say that this stimulus has been successful. It’s been done before but this time we would like to get it right, so we’re working with the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” James Asare Adjei asserted.
Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed