The government has said that a complete lockdown of the country’s businesses can cause more damage to the economy. Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said that business entities should turn their operations around and learn to adapt amidst the pandemic.
Speaking during a joint briefing held at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services in Lusaka, the Finance Minister bemoaned the slow uptake of the 10 billion Kwacha loan facility made available by the Bank of Zambia through Commercial Banks.
Dr. Ng’andu attributed the slow uptake of the loan facility to low levels of sensitization on the facility.
He said the Central Bank intends to increase the number of non-financial institutions in the disbursement of the loan facility as most SME’s acquire loans from such institutions.
Dr. Ng’andu said the Bank of Zambia will also engage business associations such as the Zambia Association of Manufacturers to familiarise them with the process of accessing the facility.
He encouraged SMEs to take advantage of the 10 billion Loan facility to sustain their businesses through the Covid-19 period.
And, Dr. Ng’andu said the establishment of the COVID 19 Fund is underway, in line with the presidential directive and awaiting cabinet approval of the proposals.