President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended the Bank of Ghana (BoG) under the leadership of Dr Ernest Addison for the intervention they made to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Delivering his first state of the nation address in his second term on Tuesday March 9, Mr Akufo-Addo said “The formulation and implementation of the COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, tracing, testing, treatment, waiver of personal income tax and provision of an additional fifty percent (50%) basic salary allowance to healthcare workers, expanding the capacities of laboratories to increase COVID-19 testing, establishment of isolation centres in all regions and districts, fumigation of markets and schools, provision of food packages and hot meals for residents in areas affected by the partial lockdown, provision of free water for all households, provision of free electricity for lifeline consumers and a fifty percent (50%) discount for all other consumers,
“reduction in the Communication Service Tax (CST) from nine percent (9%) to five percent (5%), the institution of a seven hundred and fifty million cedi (GH¢750 million) loan facility for micro, small and medium enterprises through the CAPBUS Initiative, and the provision of a two billion cedi (GH¢2 billion) guarantee facility to support large businesses, such as schools and pharmaceutical companies, are amongst the several measures put in place by Government to cushion Ghanaians from the impact of the pandemic.
“Support has also been forthcoming from the Bank of Ghana, under its brilliant leadership, which has lowered the Monetary Policy Rate by one hundred and fifty (150) basis points to 14.5 percent, reduced the Primary Reserve Requirement from ten percent (10%) to eight percent (8%), reduced the Capital Adequacy Requirement from thirteen percent (13%) to eleven-point five percent (11.5%), and reduced interest rates based on the Ghana Reference Rate by two hundred (200) basis points.
“The Ghana Revenue Authority has also extended the dates for filing of taxes from four (4) months to six (6) months after the end of the basis year, issued a waiver on VAT, National Health Insurance Levy and GETFund Levy on donations of equipment and goods for fighting the pandemic, waived income taxes on Third-Tier Pension withdrawals, and permitted the deduction of contributions and donations towards COVID19 as allowable expense for tax purposes.
“Mr. Speaker, my Government found the resources to cushion the impact of the pandemic because we are good managers of the economy, and we are good protectors of the public purse.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana