Govt to limit local borrowing to K1bn

GOVERNMENT says it will not borrow more than K1 billion from commercial banks next year, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said yesterday.

He said the move was aimed at allowing commercial banks have sufficient funds available to lend to productive sectors of the economy.

Mr Chikwanda said Government also wanted to reduce the current high interest rates that commercial banks were charging.

He noted that the high cost of doing business in Zambia had also been triggered by high interest rates.

Mr. Chikwanda said this had hampered the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) sector to access affordable funding to grow their businesses.

He was speaking during the commissioning of the National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) Nchelenge branch in Nchelenge district.

Mr Chikwanda praised NATSAVE for assisting farmers in the district through loan facilities.

He said Luapula Province needed to transform from fishing to promoting Agriculture.

At the same function NATSAVE Managing Director Cephas Chabu said the Nchelenge branch held a saving deposit of K7.5 million as at 31st October 2015.

Mr. Chabu said the branch had given out K4.9 million worth of loans to 698 people in the community. And Nchelenge Member of Parliament Raymond Mpundu thanked government for rolling out banking services into rural areas.

Mr Mpundu said the establishment of a bank in the district would boost economic activities in the area.

And Luapula Province Minister Benson Kapaya said the province was posed for further economic growth due to a number of developmental activities that government has embarked on.-ZNBC