The Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has underlined three key interventions in the 2021 Budget and Economic Statement that could help spear growth for micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
She said the interventions such as Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprise Support (Ghana CARES) initiative, creating and sustaining jobs, and entrepreneurship and wealth creations will consolidate gains already achieved with regards to programmes initiated to sustain MSMEs when the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) broke-out in 2020.
Taking her turn at a forum on the 2021 Budget and Economic Policy Statement on March 16 in Accra, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh stated that a key aspect of the 2021 budget was to help support MSMEs to hit back on the growth path.
“The government’s emergency preparedness response plan as well as the Coronavirus Alleviation plan such as tax waivers, expansions of laboratories to include COVID-19 test, and free water and electricity touched every aspect of the country’s economy.
“And so, the 2021 budget is clear on what the government has been able to do to support the economy at the time when other economies around the world were not being stabilised but rather shrinking at a faster pace,” she added.
The Post Budget Forum 2021, organised by PwC Ghana with support from Graphic Business and other corporate firms, created a virtual platform for captains of industry, members of the business community, investors as well as policy makers to discuss and understand issues highlighted in the government’s 2021 budget.
It hosted personalities such as the Finance Minister designate, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, President’s Representative at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Charles Adu-Boahen, Economist at UG, Osei Assibey, Tax Leader at PwC Ghana, Mr George Kwatia, and Country Senior Partner of PwC Ghana.
Giving further details, the Executive Director observed that Ghana CARES for instance was a bold and audacious initiative which sought to stabilise, revitalise and transform Ghana’s economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period.
“At a time when everyone is trying to figure out what they should really do, it is so impressive to see the government setting up an initiative to vitalise the country’s economy.
“The Ghana CARES was introduced because this is the time for us to rebuild our economy. It is when you are down that you can really learn how to rebuild well and faster.
“And the 2021 budget brings to light this key priority, a GHȻ100 billion initiative. The beauty of this is that it does not fall only on the feet of the government rather all stakeholders are involved,” she said.
Another relevant area in the budget for the MSMEs sector, she said was the aspect which promotes the creation and sustainability of jobs in the country.
“As the backbone of the economy, MSMEs are the largest job creators in the world and so this key priority area will see support in a lot of capacity building going towards MSMEs,” she said.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh noted that entrepreneurship and wealth creations was also a positive area in the budget that was directly linked to the MSMEs sector.
“MSMEs are the entrepreneurs and we cannot overlook the importance of the entrepreneurship and wealth creations section of this budget.
“The budget in an interesting way touches on core parts of our lives and businesses,” she added.
AGI support government
The Vice President in-charge of SMEs at Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, stated that the AGI was positive that the 2021 budget was the government’s clear recovery plan for businesses as the effect of the pandemic rages.
He said the AGI was in a better position to support the government to walk this path of recovery for businesses.
He added that there was a need for the government to prioritise competitiveness in its effort to generate revenue to support its developmental agenda.