Accra, Oct. 19, GNA - Eighty-seven billion cedis is to be used as seed money for a Venture Capital Trust Fund to help capitalise Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSEs) in Ghana, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Finance and Economic Planning Minister told Parliament on Tuesday. "A survey of Ghanaian private sector has revealed that ninety-three per cent of all businesses are MSEs, it therefore stands to reason that, such a fund is extremely important."
The Minister, who was moving the motion for the second reading of the Venture Capital Trust Bill, said the money represented 25 per cent of the National Reconstruction Levy raked in so far. He said the fund would provide long term funding for the MSEs with "hardly no interest."
Mr Osafo Maafo said most MSEs grapple with huge interest rates when they contract loans and this made investment in such areas unattractive.
He said Management of the Millennium Challenge Account was being convinced to support the fund.
"We shall use part of what would come to us to beef up the fund," he said.
Captain Nkrabea Effah Darteh (rtd), NPP-Berekum, said the "private development is what drives the New Patriotic Party". He said: "it is so difficult for the MSEs to access credit from the banks and when they do, the interest rate is so high" "This fund would open the floodgates to our industrial revolution", he declared.
Major Samuel K. Amponsah (rtd), NDC-Mpohor Wassa East asked that management and disbursement of the fund should not be politicised. "The money should not go only to the NPP people," he said. Mr Appiah Ofori, NPP-Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa, said an earlier fund involving some five million dollars failed to achieve its objective and asked that the matter be investigated to avoid similar problems to the proposed fund.