Government has extended free water and electricity to all Ghanaians for a period of three months.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in the 2020 mid-year budget review and supplementary estimates for the 2020 financial year to Parliament on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Mr. Ofori-Atta mentioned that it is the responsibility of a caring government to recognize the adverse effects of the coronavirus on its people and that is why government has taken the necessary steps to further absorb the cost of electricity and water for the next three months.
“Mr. Speaker, the reason is simple. It is because we put the concerns and aspirations of the ordinary Ghanaian first. That is also why we further reduced electricity prices by half and completely provided potable water for free for everybody since March this year. And we will extend it for another 3 months. To break it down, it takes a caring government of the people, and with that, I mean, a Government of all the people, to offer cost-free water to all across the country: representing all domestic and commercial customers in Ghana for three months.
“It takes a caring government to be for the people and for business, large and small, to choose to subsidize electricity consumption by 50 percent to 4 million (4,086,286) households and nearly 700,000 (686,522) businesses at a cost of GH¢1.02 billion in three months. And we will extend the coverage for lifeline customers for another 3 months,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo in April this year announced the reduction of electricity tariffs by half and provision of potable water for free to all Ghanaians for the months of April, May, and June to make up for lost income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
President’s plan for the next three and a half years
Let me reiterate, Mr Speaker, the President’s plan for the next three and a half years.
(i) An unprecedented GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares Obaatanpa Programme to transform and modernise our society
(ii) For the next 6 months:-
a. Reduce CST from 9% to 5%
b. Establish a GH¢2 billion Guarantee Facility to support all sectors of business and job retention
c. Establish an Unemployment Insurance Scheme
d. Create a GH¢100 Fund for Labour and Faith-based organisations for retraining and skills development
e. Increase the CapBuss Programme by GH¢150 million to, among others, facilitate credit of GH¢50 million to support the Creative Arts, the Media
and the Conference of Independent Universities.
f. Retain provision of free water for the next three months
g. Retain free electricity for all life-line customers for the rest of the year.
Source: King Edward Ambrose Washman Addo/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana