MPs want lower interest charges

16Apr 2021
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
MPs want lower interest charges

​​​​​​​MEMBERS of Parliament yesterday called on the government to review financial policies to push banks and other institutions to reduce interest rates for steady growth of the private sector.

Anatropia Theonest (Special Seats, Chadema).

They raised concern over unfavorable interest rates set by banks and other financial institutions to traders, thus affecting the growth of businesses and slowing down other economic activities.

Debating estimates of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for the next financial year, the legislators appealed for intervention on how to end the interests challenge for the country’s development.

Anatropia Theonest (Special Seats, Chadema) said that high interest rates posed by banks have been affecting businesses and investments in the country.

She urged that local banks need to review lending policies and improve service provision, reduce interest rates on loans to traders, farmers and small-scale enterprises (SMEs) as this will support business growth and propel a robust private sector.

The government should be active in formulating favorable investment policies and a friendly regulatory framework for greater business convenience and investment attractiveness, she emphasised.

“If the country is to achieve the targeted industrialization goal driven well by the private sector, the government has to ensure it brings up viable solutions for the challenges thwarting investment flows into the country,” the MP underlined.

Amour Khamis (Tumbe) hinted that reducing interest rates in bank loans was paramount to support development endeavours, urging the government to consult with mobile phone companies to find ways of reducing transaction charges that are currently too high.

The government must seriously invest efforts to improve the agriculture sector for sustainable development, he stated, citing challenges the sector faces as including high interests for bank loans, leading to piled up debts and interest charges.

Innocent Bilakatwe (Kyerwa) stressed the need for commitment to commercial agriculture by facilitating more imports of farming equipment or convenient local manufacturing, seeds and supportive services.

As the country implements development plans, investing in agribusiness and agro-based-industries was crucial, he stated.

“The government must take effective measures to connect farmers with local and international markets,” he added.

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