The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is demanding that the government comes clear on how it intends to account for the stimulus packages that it is offering to distressed companies.

The AGI fears that the taxpayer risks losing hugely if beneficiaries are unable to account for their allocation.

Meanwhile the AGI’s business barometer report has shown a marginal dip in business confidence between the last quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of this year.

The concern by the AGI follows what its 2018 first quarter report revealed that 35 out of the 500 businesses surveyed or 7 percent, expected their businesses to become worse off, from April onwards.

This is a marginal increase from the four percent of such category of businesses recorded in the last quarter of 2017.

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The Vice President of the AGI, Humphrey Ayim Darkeh admits to the need to support such businesses to bring them back to their feet.

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He however says the support should not come without responsibilities from the beneficiaries.

“There should be a yardstick used to measure and a time frame after which it could be confirmed from the said company to check that the taxpayer money has yielded some improvement in terms of job creation and a growth path,” he stated.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry last month, told Citi Business News it has disbursed some 141 million cedis to about six companies as part of the stimulus package.

An additional twenty companies are also expected to receive their support soon.

High cost of electricity tops challenges facing businesses in 2018 Q1

The report also cited the high cost of electricity as top challenge that confronted businesses for the first three months of the year.

This was followed by the access and cost of credit, delayed payments to contractors as well as cedi depreciation.

The President of the AGI, Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi attributed the high cost of electricity to the prevailing cost of generation and distribution.

“All the three institutions that is, VRA, GRIDCo and the ECG have added their margins which culminated in the aggregate figures that businesses were paying. The situation had been so until March where the government through the PURC stepped in to reduce prices,” he observed.

In all, the AGI’s business barometer report says the business confidence is generally high at 100.5.

This is despite the figure dropping marginally from the 107.9 recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Source: Citinewsroom