The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has welcomed the various interventions announced by the government to cushion individuals and businesses in the face of general economic hardship.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, at a press conference on Thursday, March 24, 2022, announced some interventions including a 15 pesewas reduction on every litre of fuel purchased effective April 1, 2022.
The government will also pump 2 billion dollars into the economy to revive the Ghana cedis which has experienced continuous depreciation in recent weeks against major currencies.
President of GUTA Dr. Joseph Obeng has been reacting to the latest interventions by the government.
“The assurances given about the infusion of $2 billion into the system has started showing as the cedi has started appreciating. We are happy about this move, especially. The economy will be stabilised.”
On the 15 Pesewas reduction in the price per litre of fuel, Dr. Obeng said it is an indication of goodwill by the government.
In all, the government outlined 12 measures aimed at stabilizing the economy, together with additional measures to generate more revenue.
- The government plans to cut discretionary spending by an additional 10 percent. The Ministry of Finance is meeting with Ministries, Departments and Agencies to review spending plans for the rest of the year.
- There will be a 50 percent cut in fuel coupon allocation for all political appointees and heads of government institutions to ensure efficient use of energy resources. This measure is effective April 1, 2022. Fuel coupons normally account for over GHS 60 million, according to the Finance Minister.
- The suspension of the purchase of imported vehicles for 2022 to reduce total vehicle purchases for the year. This will affect all new orders, especially Four-wheel drives.
- The suspension of all foreign travels except pre-approved statutory travels or critical travels.
- The government plans to conclude measures to eliminate ghost workers from the government payroll by the end of 2022.
- The government hopes to conclude renegotiations of the Independent Power Producer capacity charges by the end of the third quarter of 2022 to further reduce capacity payments by 20 percent to generate total savings of GHS1.5 billion.
- Moratorium on the establishment of new public sector institutions by the end of April 2022
- Prioritise ongoing projects over new projects to enhance the efficient use of limited public funds by finishing ongoing or stalled projects
- The reduction of expenditure on all meetings and conferences by 50 percent.
- Pursue reprofiling strategies to reduce the interest expense burden on the fiscal.
- The government also plans to liaise with organised labour to implement measures in the Kwahu declaration of the 2022 National Labour Conference. These include reforms towards addressing salary inequities.
- Ministers and the Heads of SOEs will also be contributing 30 percent of their salaries from April to December 2022 to the Consolidated Fund.