Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has requested Parliament to grant the Government approval to access an amount of GH¢1.250 billion from the Contingency Fund to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
The objective of the CAP is to mitigate the disruption to economic activities and the hardship imposed on the people of Ghana by the Coronavirus disease and to rescue and revitalize industries that have fallen prey to the pandemic.
Additionally, as part of the initiative, the government is expected to make funds available to support households and businesses, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises.
Mr Ofori-Atta made the request for the approval in a statement before the House in-line with Article 177(1) of the 1992 Constitution.
“I am by this presentation submitting a request to the Finance Committee to grant us the authorization to access the requisite amounts from the Contingency Fund to confront the challenge that has engulfed the nation in this matter of Coronavirus (COVID-19) affliction.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo on March 27, 2020, in a national televised address on the Coronavirus pandemic directed the Finance Minister to prepare for approval by Parliament a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.
Thereafter, the Finance Minister on Monday, March 30, 2020, delivered a statement on the “Economic impact of the COVID-19 on the economy of Ghana” to Parliament.
The Minister also placed before the House a proposal that sought parliamentary approval to lower the cap on the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) from $300 million to $100 million and to transfer the excess amount of $219 million over and above the newly proposed cap to the Contingency Fund to finance the CAP.
“Mr Speaker, I wish to express our profound gratitude to Parliament for working expeditiously to approve the proposal to lower the cap on the Ghana Stabilization Fund from $300 million to $100 million. This has enabled us to transfer the cedi equivalent of $219 million into the Contingency Fund,” he added.
Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye after the delivery of the statement referred it to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.