As part of measures to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 on businesses, the government has extended the tax filing date from April to June, President Akufo-Addo, has said.
Speaking on the May Day celebrations, in the studios of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) on Friday May 1, Mr Akufo-Addo said a lot of measures have been taken to mitigate the impact of the virus on businesses.
“Government has taken other measures. It has extended the tax filing date from April to June; through negotiations with the banks, we have ensured a two percent (2%) reduction of interest rates by banks, effective last month; and, additionally, the banks have granted a six (6) month moratorium of principal repayments to entities in the airline and hospitality industries, i.e. hotels, restaurants, car rentals, food vendors, taxis, and uber operators.
“Further, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks, Government will, from this month of May, roll out a soft loan scheme up to a total of six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million) to support micro, small and medium scale businesses. Loans disbursed will have a one-year moratorium, and two-year repayment period.
“The decision by the commercial banks, with the support of the Bank of Ghana, to institute a three billion cedi (GH¢3 billion) credit and stimulus package, to help revitalise industries, especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, services, and manufacturing sectors, is one I very much welcome.”
He added : “Workers of Ghana, the onset of this virus has not only led to job losses, but has also revealed the ingenuity and can-do spirit of the Ghanaian, thereby creating jobs. It has stimulated our capacity to produce for ourselves, and is making us depend on the things we make and grow for our own survival. This is a clear manifestation of our potential to be able to move this country to a situation of self-sufficiency. Out of adversity comes opportunity.
“The ‘Veronica Bucket’ has won universal acclaim for its inventiveness. Ghanaian scientists are working on the discovery of an African vaccine to counter the virus, and of a test-kit suitable for our conditions. Today, we are able to produce in increasingly large quantities sanitizers and essential personal protective equipment required by our healthcare workers to fight the virus.
“We have to do even more. It has also led to a paradigm shift in work management protocols, and the mainstreaming of digital technology in all aspects of our working lives. To this end, I have directed the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to lead a national dialogue on the ‘Future of Work’ to fashion out a national strategy so we are not taken by events, such as this pandemic, in the future.”
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