The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Attah as part of his presentation at the mid-year budget review announced the implementation of “Ghana CARES Obaatan Pa” Programme.
This is a ¢100 billion development initiative designed by government to mitigate the economic challenges brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We have brainstormed over the crisis with the view of using the challenges it presents rather as an opportunity to transform Ghana and for all Ghanaians. I am happy to announce that in the coming weeks the President will launch a ¢100 billion development programme,” he said.
Describing the “Obaatan Pa” programme as “ambitious and unprecedented”, he reiterated that the roll-out of the programme over the next three and a half years as part of government’s resolute steps to get the economy back on track, and would “anchor the comprehensive transformation of our society.”
According to his address, the initiative is sequenced in two phases: a Stabilization Phase that would run from July to the end of the year (2020); and a medium-term Revitalization Phase (to be implemented from 2021-2023) would revitalize the economy and accelerate the Ghana Beyond Aid transformation agenda.
“The Stabilization phase of the Ghana CARES programme will ensure food security, protect businesses and worker incomes, strengthen the health system, attract private investments and support Ghanaian businesses”, he said.
This phase would be unfolded in the next 6 months and is intended to transform and modernize the country. It would include among others, the following;
- Reducing CST from 9% to 5%
- Establishing a GH¢2 billion Guarantee Facility to support all sectors of business and job retention
- Establishing an Unemployment Insurance Scheme
- Creating a GH¢100 Fund for Labour and Faith-based organisations for retraining and skills development
- Increasing the CapBuss Programme by GH¢150 million to, facilitate credit of GH¢50 million to support the Creative Arts, the Media and the Conference of Independent Universities,
- Retaining provision of free water for the next three months g.
- Retaining free electricity for all life-line customers for the rest of the year.
“The CARES Revitalisation & Transformation phase of the programme is about national survival and security. It will require a “Whole-of-Government” approach that would need Parliament “to pass a number of legislations that will provide a strong framework to raise the funds,
attract the investments necessary … to rationalise and strengthen support to SMEs.
These will include Bills on tax exemptions, public-private partnerships (PPPs), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC),
Development Finance Institutions, Home Ownership Financing and Enterprise Ghana.”
According to the Minister, this “unprecedented, bold and audacious initiative” is in response to the President’s address to the nation in May, where he charged the Ministry of Finance to design recovery programme for the country.
Hon. Ofori-Atta stated that the “Ghana CARES Obatanpa programme” would enable the nation as a whole to re-imagine and re-envision our future like never before.