By OLIVER SAMBOKO
ZERO rate interest on all loans under the K10 Billion stimulus package announced by Government to make the fund more accessible and affordable to small business enterprises, Zambia Consumers Association (ZACA) has advised.
ZACA executive Secretary, Juba Sakala said there was a likelihood that the COVID-19 pandemic was going to take a long time to end hence the need for the Bank of Zambia to workout stimulus package that will ensure small and emerging businesses strive even amidst the crisis.
He said the tourism sector was one of the Industries that had been severely affected by COVID-19 outbreak but said with a good and well laid out planby Government through the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia, Hotels and other tour players can still come out of the crisis strong.
Mr Sakala also called on Government to waiver visa fees for three months on all visitors and tourists that will directly come to Zambia to ensure the survival of the tourism industry in the country.
He said the K10 billion set aside by the Bank of Zambia to enhance liquidity in the economy should be easily accessible by the beneficiaries without tough conditions like demand for collateral because most small enterprises fail to meet such conditions.
“The money that has been set aside by BOZ to enhance liquidity in the economy should be accessible by the small and medium enterprises without a lot of questions and demands from the banks,” he said.
Mr Sakala said relaxation of conditions for those wishing to access the stimulus package was key in ensuring quick healing of the economy during and post COVID-19 period.
“Our appeal as consumers of services is that apart from the stimulus package that has been provided, Government should also consider waiver taxes and visa fees so that more tourists can be attracted to come to the country,” he said.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO