Business News of 2014-08-16

SSNIT suspends decision to auction GRCL bungalows

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has suspended the decision to auction three bungalows belonging to the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) in Takoradi.
The decision to suspend the auction, according to Mr Godwill Ntamah, the General-Secretary of the Workers’ Union of the GRCL, followed a meeting between the Ministry of Transport, management of the GRCL and SSNIT last Tuesday.
Discussions at the meeting, he said, concluded that the intended auction of the bungalows would negatively impact on the fortunes of the GRCL, following which SSNIT agreed to suspend the action.
Payment plan
However, he said, management of the GRCL had been tasked to come up with a proposal on how to pay off the debt owed SSNIT.
Mr Ntamah said the meeting agreed that the proposal should be ready within a month and presented to the two other parties for further discussions.
The Daily Graphic last Monday carried a story in which the Workers’ Union of the GRCL through its General Secretary had appealed to the SSNIT to re-consider the decision to auction three bungalows belonging to the GRCL to offset a debt the GRCL owed SSNIT.
Mr Ntamah said the auctioning of the bungalows could further worsen the financial plight of the company.
The union also called on the government to intervene in the matter and also set up a national task force to protect properties of GRCL.
Dwindling fortunes
Following the dwindling fortunes of GRCL which led to the generation of limited revenue, management of the company had to squeeze the little available resources in order to pay salaries.
In view of this, focus was placed on payment of net salaries, leaving out some statutory deductions like SSNIT contributions.
Over the years, debt accumulated and SSNIT had no option but to resort to the law court where it succeeded in obtaining an order to auction the properties to offset the indebtedness.
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