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Banks should have SMEs desk - Zanu PF MP

by Stephen Jake
30 Jul 2016 at 09:38hrs | Views
Zanu PF MP for Chegutu Dexter Nduna has said banks in the country should introduce desks for the Small to Medium Enterprises as a way of promoting the local industrial growth.

Speaking in parliament Nduna said they should be an SME desk in every bank to promote SME utilising low interest rate loans so that we realise that our economy can only come up if we support the SME sector.

"The issue that was alluded to by Hon. Chidhakwa that speaks to revitalization of the economy by engaging our SMEs in the infrastructural development and public works programmes of this nation. This should not be underestimated; it should not be undermined because our economy is skewed to the tune of 80% towards the informal sector," he said.

"Let us now formalise the informal sector, thereby also elongating or expanding the tax base for our economy so that we can optimally and efficiently support the Minister of Finance and Economic Development or Treasury and get back to winning ways."

Nduna said they should be engaged in multinational infrastructural development projects.

"I speak as the Chairperson of Transport and Infrastructure Committee. As we engage in the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway, the SMEs should not be undermined. When I speak of the SMEs, I refer to those that own one or two tippers. They should be engaged and the Government, multinationals and the main contractors should make sure that they use the SMEs as subcontracted companies," he said.

"We should also support our SMEs by creating a department in the SME sector that speaks to private sector research development and in particular those that are in the rural areas so that they know how they can conduct their businesses through ICT and modern day technology."

He said in the revitalisation of entities such as ZISCO Steel and David Whitehead, the Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa has already spoken about the support that he is giving to the cotton industry sector where he is giving three seasons full of support for free in order to revitalise the textile industry headed by David Whitehead.

"This industry cannot be resuscitated if we ignore the SME sector who are currently engaged in agricultural development of our cotton. The issue of resuscitation of ZISCO Steel, utilising our SMEs can also revitalise our National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) that used to transport 19 million tonnes at its peak, but is currently transporting 3 million tonnes. If we revitalise ZISCO Steel using both our chrome and red-cliff, red-cliff in the context of its meaning, we are now skewing up the economy towards the formal sector. So the informal and the SMEs sectors can be utilised to revitalise these former giants of our economy," he said.

Nduna said the issue to do with black empowerment and the reclamation of our identity and dignity through racial equality cannot be overemphasised, it cannot be spoken about if we continue to leave SMEs in the fringes of the economy.

"The issue to do with black empowerment and the empowerment programmes spearheaded by His Excellency, the President, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, should not be underestimated. They should be complemented because if we do not complement his efforts in terms of black empowerment on land ownership, entrepreneurs and business people, our industry will still remain at 40%," he said.

"When you talk of support to the SMEs, before independence, 35% of our black children had access to education. Now we have 91% of children who have access to education. That can all come to naught if we do not support our SMEs because our fathers and mothers are now selling tomatoes, newspapers and air time vouchers in order to get their children to school. So let us support them in their areas of operation so that we go back to our winning ways."

Nduna said before independence, we had 4% of our children accessing secondary education and now 'we' have 65%.

"What we need to applaud is the support that is being given to the informal sector and the SMEs. If we do not support the SMEs, all this is going to come to naught. The STEM programme is going to come to naught and we are not going to have our children having access…" he said.

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Source - Byo24News