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Gov’t to launch GHS2 billion credit and guarantee scheme to support private sector

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The government is to establish an Enterprise Credit Scheme (ECS) to aid the private sector to access credit at reasonable lending rates, the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta, has announced.

He said the government was working together with the Banking Community to launch a GHS2 billion credit and guarantee scheme in 2020.

The initiative, he explained, will be structured to incentivize banks to lend at discounted lending rates.

Presenting the 2020 Budget and Economic Policy to Parliament on Wednesday, the Minister said the scheme, to take off in the first quarter of next year, would be targeted at specific industries – agribusiness, manufacturing, hospitality, tourism and the tech-sector.

It is part of major interventions to boost the private sector- support it to expand and become competitive, to create jobs for the people.

The private sector in Ghana continues to borrow at over 25 per cent, while their counterparts elsewhere are borrowing at about five per cent.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said one way to support those in the sector was to ensure a reasonable level of lending rates.

The government was also going to partner Fintech companies, local banks and mobile money operators to deliver micro credit to Ghanaian businesses and individuals.

The goal was to provide quick loans on favourable terms using technology driven platforms to do the credit assessment.

The Minister said this was in line with Government’s digitization agenda and offered an opportunity for small and medium businesses to apply for loans on their mobile phones with minimal human intervention.

He said the initiative would commence in the first quarter of 2020 and would provide the needed micro capital for business expansion and capital expenditures.

“It will also support the working capital needs of small Ghanaian businesses. Our market women will be able to access credit using their mobile money wallets to stock up goods in order to sell more.

“The initiative is expected to increase productivity and profitability as well as contribute to job creation.

“This is in direct response to our findings from the nationwide survey,” he said.

He said the government would also encourage the establishment of Private Equity, Venture Capital and Mutual Funds, which will improve the ecosystem for start-ups.

He added that from evidence-based research and field engagements with over 40 business associations, credit needs of micro, small and medium enterprises, the government was ready to take advantage of the macro gains and enhanced social cohesion through its social interventions to focus on private sector growth, home ownership and infrastructure development including toll roads.

The key institutions to anchor the shift would be the National Development Bank, (NDB) and the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, (GIIF).

GNA

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