Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has defended the 2021 budget and economic policies as the best to push Ghanaian businesses ahead of their African partners trading on the African Continental Free Trade Area.

According to him, the suspension of tax stamp for small businesses, suspension of capital gain tax and other initiatives in the budget will ensure that a conducive business environment is created.

Speaking at the Economic Dialogue on the 2021 budget organized by auditing firm, Deloitte, Mr. Kyerematen said all these programmes outlined above are reflected in the already developed National Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade under the AfCFTA.

According to the Minister, there are specific programmes and policy interventions outlined in the 2021 Budget which will complement existing policy interventions by the Government.

These include the following:                        

a. Establish the Development Bank of Ghana to improve access to medium to large scale project financing.

b. Continue the Interest Rate Subsidy incentive to 1D1F companies to enhance access to affordable credit.  

c. Establishment of a Domestic Credit Rating Agency to assist firms with access to capital.

d. Implementation of Ghana Stock Market Initiatives to help attract capital to Ghanaian businesses including deepening the Ghana Stock Exchange and partnering with Fintechs to bring trading of Securities to the doorsteps of Ghanaians.

e. Suspension of Income Tax Stamp payments for Small Businesses to improve their cash flow which will increase their working capital.

f. Waiving of penalty and interest on accumulated tax arrears to reduce cash flow challenges.  

g. Supporting commercial farming and plantation to enhance access to agricultural raw materials for processing and value addition.

h. Procurement of agricultural machinery and equipment worth about US$30 million for distribution to farmers to boost mechanization development.

In conclusion, the Trade Minister said 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government outlines President Akufo-Addo’s programme for accelerated recovery from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.