General News

Deputy Trade and Industry Minister denies claims of unaccounted GH₵200m

Michael Okyere Baafi, the Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, has rejected claims by the Minority in Parliament that amount in excess of GH¢200 million, cannot be accounted for by the Ministry.

The said amount is the interest subsidies for beneficiaries under the “One District One Factory” policy.

Speaking to Joy News, the Minister indicated the Minority are being mischievous and are peddling falsehood.

“When we attended the Committee meeting, they requested of us to submit to them an item-by-item list of subsidies we have paid as a government to these beneficiary companies.

“We told them we had the documentation, and we even presented it to them when we met them on Wednesday and they asked us to submit it officially which we did. I don’t know where they are getting those figures from. Their interest is just to play mischief,” he explained.

The Minister added, “there is no money missing and these are facts that can be checked and verified. These 1D1F companies that are operational are about 106 companies, and everybody can go out there and check, we don’t have anything to hide.”

Background

The Minority had accused the Ministry that out of the GH¢269 million disbursed, only GH¢62 million has been accounted for, leaving a shortfall of over GH¢200 million.

Ranking Member on the Trade Committee, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah had said, despite queries to the Ministry, the Minister could not provide answers to their nagging questions.

He noted, the Akufo-Addo led administration agreed to absorb 10% of the 20% interest charged on loans to IDIF companies as subsidies.

Page 11, of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2022-2025 for the Ministry of Trade and Industry states that in 2021, the number of Participating Financial Institutions (PFIS) increased from 13 to 15 and a total of GH¢2.69 billion was granted as loans to finance the IDIF projects/companies.

Out of this, GH¢269 million has been disbursed by the government as interest subsidy payment support to de-risk PFI’s loans to IDIF companies.

Explaining further, the MP said, “at the 2022 Budget Committee meeting with the Ministry, the Minister confirmed that GH¢269 million has been disbursed as interest subsidy to beneficiary IDIF companies. The Committee demanded details of the beneficiary companies but the Ministry submitted a list of beneficiary companies and subsidies disbursed totalling GH¢62,281,484 29 instead of GH¢269,689,383.75 exposing a shortfall of GHS207,407,899.46.

“The question then to ask Mr. Alan Kyeremanten is where is the whopping difference of GHS 207,407,899.467. Clearly, the Minister has some questions to answer.”

 

 

 

Source: ghanaweb.com

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