COVID-19 Expenditure: GH¢600 million was used for economic relief, stabilisation and revitalisation — Finance Minister

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Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance says a total of GH¢600 million was utilised for Economic Relief, Stabilization and Revitalization during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

He said: "Mr Speaker, in addition to measures to stabilise the economy after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government also implemented programmes to revitalise the economy and protect jobs."

To that end, the finance minister cited the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS) by the NBSSI now the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), as providing soft loans to 302,001 small and medium-scale businesses across the country to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and protect jobs.

Mr Ofori-Atta said this on Wednesday when he appeared before Parliament to deliver a statement on how government funds were disbursed against the COVID-19 Pandemic.

He was also billed to answer 16 questions from different legislators.

He referred to the Ghana Cares Obaatan pa Programme which was launched in November 2020 as part of projects that revitalised the economy.

The finance minister noted that to make strategic investments in the real sector of the economy, the total amount released at the end of 2021 was GH¢539 million out of the total programmed amount of GH¢1,510 million.

He mentioned that the establishment of the Development Bank Ghana was to address gaps in the Ghanaian credit markets, especially the availability of medium- and long-term finance for the private sector.

As a result, Mr Ofiri-Atta told Parliament that a total amount of GH¢853 million had been transferred to the Bank as seed money.

"Mr Speaker, other measures include the transfer of GH¢1,501 million to the Statutory funds in line with the approved budget to enable them to deliver on their mandate.

"This was occasioned by the non-performance of revenues largely due to the global lockdowns; and the payment of GH¢1,267 million to contractors to settle outstanding indebtedness to contractors that were programmed to be paid in 2020 with revenues collected as well as ease the financial burden that arose due to the outbreak of the pandemic," he said.

GNA
 
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