As 2021 draws to a close, 2022 is expected to be the year governments the world over start taking the upward turn in the U-shaped economic recovery.
In 2020, the world was brought to it knees as a result of a global pandemic we never saw coming nor prepared for.
Prior to that, the government under the able leadership of his Excellency the President had stabilized a troubled ship by restoring economic stability, improving macroeconomic conditions, raising the quality and access to education among many others.
In the time of crisis, we saw able and compassionate leadership unburden the Ghanaian by taking a lot of financial weight off citizens.
Ghc36.8 million cedis in tax exemptions for frontline health workers while 10.1million and 4.8million Ghanaians received free water and electricity respectively because the government understood the world was at a standstill and had to support working class Ghanaians at all cost.
Government fed over 3.3million people in total during this period which is close to 10% of the country’s population.
Majority expected that after leaving the darkest days of the pandemic, government will burden the public with the full cost of handling the pandemic but that has not been the case over the past two budgets.
On the contrary, government has enhanced its empathetic measures so as to help build and stimulate growth while plugging its revenue loopholes.
In building back for better, government intends to build a fairer society that unburdens the few 2million Ghanaians whose taxes keep the nation running.
So, coming into this budget, my expectations are on three levels:
1) A plan for the youth
2) Strong macroeconomic indicators on recovery
3) Fixing our revenue generation challenges
So, what is the government doing in this budget for young people?
In addition to previous measures of creating job opportunities through NABCO, NEIP and NBSSI, the government is proposing and implementing the YouStart Initiative which is a vehicle to creating 1million jobs in the next 3years.
Government indeed notes that unleashing the creative potential of the youth is the best way to drive change and an economic boom while dealing with unemployment on a massive scale.
Under YouStart, Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal.
YouStart will provide the youth with the following:
Training: Skills Development, Entrepreneurial Support and Business Advisory service provision;
Funding: Access to Competitive Credit and Starter Packs;
Enterprise Promotion: Mentoring and Access to Markets including Portals to facilitate “digital linkages” between youth-led enterprises and other businesses and relevant Government agencies.
YouStart Products YouStart will support youth-led enterprises with the following products:
Soft loans of up to GH¢50,000 to help start-ups (in particular by young graduates and school leavers) and small businesses to expand;
Starter packs (Soft loans tied to equipment acquisition) of up to GH¢50,000 for individuals and GH¢100,000 for associations and groups;
A standardised loan package of between GH¢100,000 to GH¢400,000 at concessional rates for SMEs from financial institutions;
Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation: Fiscal Consolidation and Job Creation Among other things YouStart seeks to inculcate a culture of commercial awareness and navigation of the difficult world of entrepreneurship. This makes me hopeful.
Source|osimpamfm.com|Richard Owusu Tawiah