The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is calling on the government to set up a committee made up of relevant stakeholders, as a matter of urgency, to discuss issues pertaining to the GHC600 million stimulus package for Medium Scale and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), and come out with a workable stimulus package.
According to GUTA, in a statement, the stimulus package being communicated to them is very confusing and not directed to the intended target, threshold, adequacy of the fund and modalities of the disbursement.
GUTA said “We mention this due to the high number of people in these sectors, and the very nature of their operations, as well as the capital need of members of each group. We expected that each group will be identified and allotted the appropriate amount of the fund.”
It further pointed out that “It should be noted that the Chief Executive Officer of the National Board for Small Scale Industry stated that she expects about 200,000 businesses to access this fund, which therefore will strike as an average threshold of GHS3,000 per a beneficiary, which is grossly inadequate”.
GUTA emphasised the shortfall of the NBSSI of disclosing the modalities and specific target group for disbursement, as well as the threshold and interest rate involved.
It also said if the government fails to establish a committee of stakeholders to effectively manage the fund to achieve its intended purposes, the stimulus package announced by President Akufo-Addo for the MSMEs will become more of a problem than a solution.
“It is important to alert government that the announcement of the stimulus package has generated a lot of interest and expectations among greater majority of the business community, so government should consider this fact, engage with us, to think through the entire package. Otherwise, this noble and good intention of the government can be more of a problem than a solution”, it said in a statement.
However, It commended the government for considering the plight of the informal trading sector and the small-scale industries in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought hardship on members of the business community.