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Parliament approves US$1.3bn loan for 2017/2018 cocoa season

Parliament has approved a loan facility of 1,300,000,000 dollars, an equivalent of 5.850 billion cedis, for the purchase of cocoa beans.

Presenting the report of the Finance Committee to Parliament on Wednesday, the Chairman Mark Asibey Yeboah told the house that the 1.3 billion dollars trade finance facility is to assist COCOBOD raise funds to purchase cocoa beans for farmers through the licensed buying companies for the 2017/2018 cocoa season.

The committee noted that the facility is being provided by a syndicate of banks with Natixis, Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Sumitomo Mitstui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Ghana International Bank as the  initial mandated lead arranger.

The Committee reminded the house of section 32 (6) of the Stamp Duty Act 2005 (Act 689) which requires loan documents to be stamped at 0.5% of the loan amount , in order to ensure that the trade finance facility is used solely for the purchase of cocoa beans and related expenses. According to the committee, the facility is to be exempted from the payment of Stamp Duty amounting to the tune of 6.5 million dollars .

The committee said they had early on been informed by the board Chairman of COCOBOD that the funds would be used for the payment of produce from farmers, buyers margins, internal marketing operations, farmers services among others.

In another development, the House also approved a loan of 48.85 million dollars which is an agreement between the government of the Republic of Ghana and the Africa Development Fund to finance the Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihood Improvement Project.

By Onua FM |Owoahene Omar Acheampong |3news.com

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