Government has refuted reports that beneficiaries of the Covid-19 stimulus package will not be required to pay back the loans should the NPP retain power.
It has also appealed to businesses that benefit from government loans to build the discipline of paying back for others to benefit.
This comes after NDC flagbearer John Mahama on his campaign trail assured the beneficiaries of the packages that should he win power, his administration will convert the loans into grants following reports the NPP is promising the same.
According to the former president, government is spreading false information a future NDC administration will go after the beneficiaries, unlike the Nana Addo administration.
But speaking to the media following the second reading of the Enterprises Agency Bill, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Ahomka Lindsay stated per current arrangements, all beneficiaries are expected to repay.
“The program has specific activities involved in it. That is what the program is today. Tomorrow, if because of issues and the rest, things can change.”
“By the way that’s the nature of the world. If that happens, as a government that listens we would look at it and make a decision. But as we stand here, please pay it back,” he told Starr News Ibrahim Alhassan.
He stressed: “One of the challenges we’ve always had and this is a reality. Whenever government gives anything, people don’t pay but this is a problem. Because where are we going to get the money to give the next person? So, while there is no doubt that there is a place for grants, there is a place for grants.
“we must also build the discipline. Look, let’s be honest, have you looked at the detail for the CAP loans for instance. Up to years, you don’t pay anything, interest rate 3 per cent per annum. And then after that, you got another two years to pay it back.”
“I think part of what we need to do is, we need to build that habit so that the fund we want to create in the agency will be able to raise more money because they know they’ll get it back. But if it’s a one-way flow you will always have to go and look for grants. There is a place for grants no doubt. In any package, in any plan, there is a place for grants,” he added.