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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Government pursues $2b loan from China

Government is hoping to secure a loan facility in excess of $2 billion from China on concessionary terms.

The loan would help government undertake various development projects in the country in its efforts to sufficiently stabilize the economy, a release signed by the Minister of Information, Zita Okaikoi, has said.

According to the statement, this was disclosed by the Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, when he briefed cabinet on the performance of the economy at its seventh meeting.

“Dr. Kwabena Duffour also informed Cabinet that the economy had stabilized and the loan when injected into the economy would help push inflation further down,” it stated.

The Finance Minister explained to Joy Business News in an interview that some ministries including, Health, Communications as well as Roads and Transport have applied for loans from the Xinhua Bank of China to undertake such projects.

“At this stage it is only application that they have made. We are yet to see responses from them. We are expecting that approval would be given for this inflow to move for us to move our economy forward.”

Touching on the Destination Inspection Scheme, the statement noted that a memorandum on the recommendation for its implementation has been submitted to cabinet by the Minister of Trade and Industry for consideration.

“Cabinet was in favour of the idea of the Public-Private Partnership arrangement to prepare the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to take over.”

Cabinet, however, deferred decision on the issue.

Cabinet has also directed the Minister of Trade and Industry to hold discussions with the Labor Unions, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders to explain to them in detail government’s position and implementation for Ghana’s trade relations with the European Union.

It said a memorandum on the strategic Plan for the National Youth Employment Programme was also considered in the meeting.

“Cabinet affirmed government’s determination to the effective mobilization of the youth and pledge to create the enabling environment for them to explore their talents and realize their full potentials. Hence, all Sector Ministers were instructed to develop strategy papers on job creation beyond those contained in existing programmes and projects.

“Cabinet affirmed its commitment to the promise that it would ensure all public sector employees are paid remuneration that is fair and equitable with regards to the memorandum on the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy.”

Cabinet further approved in principle the memorandum on the establishment of an Engineering Council for Ghana.

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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