A call is being made for the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries to work in the best interest of farmers and fishermen by removing all interest payments and offering a moratorium on Agriculture Development Bank loans.
The appeal is coming from the Member of Parliament for Couva North, Ravi Ratiram.
In May 2020, the Minister of Finance announced via a virtual press conference that the Government would be granting interest free loans to Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises as part of its COVID-19 relief measures.
In July 2020, the initiative was implemented by the Ministry of Finance, listing four participating Commercial Banks.
Through this, businesses who earn an annual revenue between $500,000 to $25,000,000 are able to apply for these interest-free loans of up to five years now seven years, where the borrower can receive a moratorium of up to two years on principal payments.
The interest on these loans (approximately 3%) is to be paid by the Government to the Banks, quarterly.
MP Ratiram claims the government has a duty to assist farmers and fisherfolk for the longer they are ignored, we can expect to see further increasing food costs.