The Finance Committee of Parliament’s has given authorization to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to spend from the Contingency Fund.
The meeting followed a statement Mr. Ofori-Atta presented to the House on government’s Coronavirus Alleviation Programme today, Wednesday.
The Finance Minister can now implement the program, with the expectation that an extra 50 million dollars will accrue to the Fund by close of the year.
Meanwhile, Minority after the meeting decried the lack of details in the financial estimates presented to the committee and indicated that they would not support the request by the Finance Minister if a provision is not made to absorb electricity bills of residential consumers in these trying times.
The money from the fund will be used for the GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.
The Finance Minister has already indicated that the cumulative effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic will cost Ghana GHS9.505 billion.
As part of other measures, the government has put in place a GHS600 million soft loan scheme with a two-year repayment plan for micro, small and medium scale businesses.
This is in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries, Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks.
Persons who access these loans will have a one-year grace period before beginning repayment.
Mr. Ofori-Atta is also seeking the support of Parliament to amend the relevant laws to lower the cap of the Stabilisation Fund from US$300 million to US$100 million.
This is to enable the government use the excess funds to bridge the gap created by the economic impact of the pandemic.
Among other interventions, the government will be taking care of the water bills for all Ghanaians for April, May and June 2020.
Seven regions have so far recorded cases of the novel coronavirus with Ghana’s count standing at 313.