Government considering cash transfers to vulnerable groups during lockdown – Finance Minister
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said the government is considering the option of cash transfers to the most vulnerable groups in society in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“All of those things are under consideration,” the Minister said in response to a question on the matter when speaking to the media.
He made the remark when he spoke to the media on Monday after delivering an address to Parliament on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The possible cash transfers will be targeted at providing relief for the poorest in society.
Major economic hubs like Accra, Kumasi and Tema are currently under a partial lockdown as the government tries to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from a few food vendors and traders, there was no economic activity that is known to sustain a lot of Ghanaians who live hand-to-mouth.
The Government has already announced a GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to provide relief to sectors of the economy expected to be massively hit by the impact of the pandemic.
The poverty indicators are quite stark. We have 23.4 percent of our population, about 7 to 8 million that are receiving under GHS 1,700 a year.”
“Clearly, when you have an event of this magnitude, it calls for finding means of which can support to make sure there is that there is life.”
In his address to Parliament, the Finance Minister noted that the novel coronavirus pandemic will have a fiscal strain of GHS9.505 billion on Ghana.
Mr. Ofori-Atta also announced that the GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme will be funded from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund.
The Minister is also seeking the support of Parliament to amend the relevant laws to lower the cap of the Stabilisation Fund from $300 million to $100 million to enable the government scoop the excess funds to bridge the gap created by the economic impact of the pandemic.