March 17, 2022

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Alan Kyerematen has attributed the delay in the payment of interest subsides to de-risk loans for Pharmaceutical Companies participating in the 1D1F Programme to delay in release of funds from the Ministry of Finance.

According to the Trade and Industry Minister, another reason for the delay in the payment of interest subsides can be attributed to the delays in the processing of loan applications of 1DIF companies by Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).

Mr. Kyerematen made these known when he appeared before Parliament today to answer questions relating to his Ministry.

He noted that since the inception of the 1D1F Programme, the Government, through the Ministry of Trade & Industry, has to a large extent, ensured the timely release of funds as Interest Subsidies to de-risk loans provided by the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to beneficiary companies including the pharmaceutical companies.

Answering a question on what plans the Ministry is instituting to enable Empire Cement Company Limited begin operation under the 1D1F, to enable the company address some of the unemployment situation in the country, the Minister informed the House that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not permitted Empire Cement Company to manufacture cement on the site next to Panbros Salt but rather permitted Empire Cement to produce Cement Bags on the site since that activity (cement paper bags manufacturing) is compatible with adjourning land uses. “In line with the determination by the EPA, the Ministry has withheld approval of granting 1D1F status to the company, awaiting a resolution of all outstanding issues in respect of the project” he stated.

Explaining further to the House, the Minister indicated that Empire Cement Company Limited, in October 2020 applied to be considered under the 1D1F Initiative, adding that in reviewing the application, few issues were identified which required consultation with EPA. He said after the consultation exercise, EPA issued a report which inter alia stated as follows “ the Agency received an application from Empire Cement Ghana Limited requesting for approval to construct and operate a cement factory at Weija Junction near Pambros Salt.

On the question of how much Government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, disbursed as interest subsidy payments to finance 1D1F companies and projects, the names of beneficiary companies and amount disbursed as interest subsidy to each company, the Minister provided the House with names and amount of all companies that have benefited from that Government initiative.