Workers who may be rendered unemployed as a result of the effects of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic can soon heave a sigh of relief.
Government is working on putting in place a scheme to provide some economic cushioning for them.
Speaking yesterday in Parliament, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, mentioned, “We are mindful of the fact that some businesses may have to shed some labour in order to survive. In the unlikely event that this happens, government, through the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), will collaborate with the Social Partners (Labour and Employers) to establish a National Unemployment Insurance Scheme.”
He said the scheme would provide temporary income support to workers that were laid off and also provide them access to retraining to help them take advantage of employment opportunities in new fields.
Government will soon roll out an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan II, which will enable us to continue strengthening the health system.
The minister added that government would, over the course of this year, work with the august House to pass a number of legislations that would provide a strong framework to raise the funds, attract the investments necessary for the revitalization and transformation phase of CARES and rationalize and strengthen support to SMEs. These will include bills on tax exemptions, public-private partnerships (PPPs), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Development Finance Institutions, Home Ownership Financing and Enterprise Ghana.
“Over the medium-term (2021 to 2023), government’s plan is to implement a phase 2 of Ghana CARES, which will revitalize and transform the economy. The main focus will be to accelerate the implementation of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.”
Support For Farmers
He continued that government would intensify support for farmers through the Planting for Food and Jobs and Rearing for Food and Jobs programmes. “We will aggressively facilitate access to financing for rice millers to enable them to purchase paddy from rice farmers. In addition, we will provide financial support to the National Buffer Stock Company and Ghana Commodity Exchange to enable them store and trade stocks as needed to smoothen out supplies on the market.”
“Government will inject liquidity into the system to ease cash flow difficulties of businesses and protect workers by honouring obligations to contractors and suppliers in a timely manner. Building on recent good experiences of sourcing from the pharmaceuticals and textile & garment sectors, government will expand procurement from local producers for its goods and services,” the minister said.
Source: Modern Ghana