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Ghana gov’t to provide stimulus package for local industries

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Mahama_indThe Ghana government is to give the local manufacturing industry a package to propel its growth. President John Dramani Mahama said the stimulus package was to empower the local companies to grow and serve as an avenue for job creation.

The package would cover the pharmaceuticals, agri-business, textiles and related manufacturing industries.

It would entail retooling and expansion of such industries, extension of credit lines and import substitution.

President Mahama, who made the announcement at a meeting with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Council at the Flagstaff House in Accra last Friday, said the stimulus package would be factored into next year’s budget statement and fiscal policy.

The meeting, which was attended by the Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani; Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Tekper; Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, and the Minister of State at the Presidency in Charge of Private Sector Development, Rashid Pelpuo, provided a platform for the exchange of ideas on issues bordering on the economy.

President Mahama acknowledged that industry was suffering from the economic challenges but gave the assurance that the problems were being tackled.

He said the recent economic measures such as the imposition of some taxes were only short-term measures meant to stabilise the economy, and gave the assurance that it would be scrapped after a while so industry should bear with the government.

President Mahama also said the recent moves by the finance ministry concerning the taxes had to do with a spiraling wage bill brought about by the implementation of the single Spine pay policy.

President Mahama also stated that the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) was going to be made efficient and operated in a manner that would not de-stabilise the economy.

Therefore, he said, he looked forward to an upcoming forum with organised labour and other stakeholders to deliberate on the way forward for the SSSS.

The President indicated that the second turbine of the Bui Power Project was due for inaguration and would augment the national grid with an additional 133MW to boost the nation’s energy security.

The President of the AGI, Nana Owusu Afari, stressed the need for a policy change in power supply to favour industries, development of industrial parks for concentration of SMEs to get infrastructure directly and support for strategic industries such as VALCO.

“There should be a guaranteed market for local products,” he said, suggesting that at least 30 per cent of government procurement should come from local industries.

Source: Daily Graphic

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