While Nigeria and some other African Countries are dillydallying on how to support their citizens in this pandemic, the government in Ghana has announced extra relief packages to ameliorate the hardship brought onto Ghanaians as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta announced the packages in Accra on Thursday when the presented the 2020 mid-year fiscal policy review to Parliament.
According to the minister, the relief packages were to bring financial and social relief to businesses and the citizenry as well as stimulate the economy.
Among them are the three months extension of free water and electricity supply for the citizens, reduction in the Communication Service Tax from nine to five per cent.
In addition, the government has increased the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS) by GH¢150million to support businesses, and the establishment of a GH¢2 billion Guarantee facility to support all sectors of business and job creation.
Mr Ofori-Atta mentioned that it was the responsibility of a caring government to recognise the adverse effects of the Coronavirus on its people, saying, “This is the reason why government has taken the necessary steps to further absorb the cost of electricity and water for the next three months.”
President Akufo-Addo in April this year announced the reduction of electricity tariffs by half and provision of potable water for free to all Ghanaians for the months of April, May and June to make up for lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The electricity and water subsidies, according to the Finance Minister has been extended for another three months to make sure the ordinary Ghanaian continues to enjoy free electricity and water while government works to eliminate the virus.