The Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) expects the 2021 Budget and Economic Policy Statement to bring pragmatic initiatives that will ensure a rapid recovery from the economic, health and social disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Dan Acheampong, President, GEA, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the Association expected the 2021 Budget Statement to paint a better picture of a conducive business environment for the year.
The statement, which contained the GEA’s input into the 2021 Budget and Economic Policy Statement of the Government, said the Association sought to promote the interest of employers and the private sector in general.
It recommended Rapid Economic Recovery Strategies; stating that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, since March 15, 2020, had created many uncertainties, financial challenges, and short falls in aggregate demand for businesses and employers in the country.
The statement said the pandemic derailed the economy to a path of significant decline, which necessitated the revision of projected 2020 Overall GDP Growth from 6.8 per cent to 1.9 per cent.
It said consequently, many enterprises had limited their operations with more workers facing the prospect of unemployment.
The statement said given the rippling effects of the shrinkage of the economy in the 2020 fiscal year, there was the need for a comprehensive strategy that would consider the rapid recovery of the economy in the short to medium terms without neglecting the social fabric of the citizenry.
It commended Government’s resolve to support enterprises and the economy to recover through the GH¢100 billion Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) programme.
“What is currently important is expediting action in the implementation of the programme in a highly targeted fashion to assure optimum value for money,” it said.
“Putting in place the necessary administrative arrangements to enable the targeted businesses and relevant sectors access funds outlined in the programme timeously will be crucial.”
Concerning Macroeconomic Stability, the statement said going forward in 2021 and beyond, macroeconomic stability would be essential in driving the sustainability and recovery of businesses.
It said the growth of the private sector significantly depended on the macroeconomic policies of the Government.
The statement said sound macroeconomic management and economic stability did not only result in the growth and development of businesses but also the welfare and standard of living of the people.
“Generally, we expect the 2021 Budget Statement to paint a better picture of a conducive business environment for the year under discussion,” it added.
It said businesses did not expect the introduction of new taxes as experienced in the past fiscal years; adding that there was the need to embark on more fiscal consolidation and expansionary monetary policy measures in 2021 for a stable and growing economy in all quarters of the year.
“We also expect stability in the exchange rate to prevent exchange rate losses in the books of enterprises.”