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The mad rush for Tax Identification Number (TIN) with Ghana Revenue Authority has created fear of the spread of coronavirus in Koforidua.
Hundreds of applicants mostly business owners and traders on Tuesday congregated at Koforidua Jackson Park to register for the number ostensibly to enable them to access the COVID-19 Relief Fund for SMEs.
Although the majority of the applicants were wearing nose mask, the gathering of the large crowd has raised serious public health concerns with fear that it could spread coronavirus in the regional capital which has already recorded an increase in several confirmed cases which stood at 32 within two weeks as of last week.
President Akufo-Addo on April 5, 2020, announced the establishment of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), as part of measures to effectively manage social and economic recovery in Ghana.
An amount of GH¢1.2 billion was subsequently earmarked towards its implementation. Out of this, an initial commitment of Six Hundred Million Cedis (GH¢600 million) was set out as a soft loan scheme for SMEs in the country.
According to the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) the main government institution in charge of implementing the program, the interventions will be rolled out in the form of grants and soft loans, via participating institutions – banks, microfinance, mobile lenders, NGOs that, the amount and type of financial support provided will vary depending on the size of the enterprise, their need, and repayment capacity.
The soft loans will be for 3 years, one-year moratorium, and the two-year repayment period.
One of the key requirements for eligible beneficiaries – Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is the TIN hence the rush to obtain TIN.
Coronavirus cases in the Eastern region have jumped from 214 as of Friday to 248 on Monday. The Ghana Health Service has announced.
One more person has died of COVID-19 in the region bringing the total number of confirmed deaths to three (3).
The happenings at the TIN registration center likely to spread the virus among residents as no social distancing protocols are not adhering too.