President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), James Asare Adjei, has asked the government to hasten the implementation of the ‘Stimulus Package’ it promised,’ saying its delay is prolonging the suffering of already distressed businesses.
Upon government’s request, the association, six months ago, presented a list of 100 companies deemed to be in distress for possible selection as beneficiaries of the stimulus package.
Government is, however, yet to announce those it has selected, and when they would receive their share of the GH?100 million the whole package is worth.
“We think the government should be a lot more faster on the implementation of this policy because it is going to boost productivity and increase industrial base in the economy,” James Asare-Adjei told the B&FT.
The Minister of Business Development, Ibrahim Awal, said in April that government had earmarked GH?100 million as the Stimulus Package for selected businesses that took a battering from the severe energy crisis the nation is emerging out of.
“These are companies that struggled during the past four years under ‘dumsor’. It is about a GH?100million and we are hoping to start in July,” the minister said.
The minister further explained that the package is for “local businesses and we need to get them revived so they can be back to their glory days. These companies laid off a lot of workers at the time and so they have to be revived.”
Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen, also said at the Ghana Economic Forum, in May, that, the Stimulus Package is part of a programme dubbed: ‘Accelerated Programme for Industrial Transformation’, which will serve as a blueprint to set the industrial sector on the path of growth.
“There are exiting industries in Ghana that are potentially viable but are operationally distressed for various reasons. And so, the government seeks to provide a stimulus fund to support these distressed companies,” Mr. Kyerematen said.
“We submitted the names over six months ago and we are still waiting,” the AGI president said. “A lot of work has been done at the moment. Technical groups have gone and visited the factories and written their reports; banks have been consulted to really see how best it can be fashioned out so that it will not be in the category of previous stimulus packages that were given, which could not result in the outcome expected.
"However, we think that facilitating it should work faster because the industry is really still in distress and the earlier they are supported with this brilliant initiative, the better it will be to grow the economy and create more jobs.”