Ghanaian government considering cash transfers to vulnerable groups during lockdown according to Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said that the government is thinking of the option of cash transfers to the most vulnerable groups in society due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta

Speaking to media, the minister said “all of those things are under consideration,” in response to a question asked.

He was speaking to the media on Monday (March 30, 2020) after he delivered an address in Parliament on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the possible cash transfers will be to provide relief for the poorest in society.

Greater Accra, Kumasi and some other areas are under a partial lockdown in an attempt to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This means that some people in the affected areas who live hand to mouth cannot go about their daily activities to get money or food.

The Government has already announced a GHC1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to provide relief to sectors of the economy expected to be heavily hit by the impact of the pandemic.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said that the GH1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme will be funded from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund.

“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,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

Meanwhile, the Minister has said that the novel coronavirus pandemic will cost Ghana GHC9.505 billion.

“Speaker, the total estimated fiscal impact from the shortfall in petroleum receipts, shortfall import duties, the shortfall in other tax revenues, the cost of the preparedness plan, and the cost of Coronavirus Alleviation Programme is GHS9,505 million.”

In a related development, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, is calling for the amendment of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to permit the government to use portions of the Ghana Heritage Fund to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.

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