The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has called on government to put in place stringent measures that will ensure that beneficiaries of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) loans pay back within a stipulated period.
Putting in place such measures would ensure sustainability of the initiative, CTPD Executive Director, Isaac Mwaipopo, said in a statement issued on Monday.
“CTPD notes that putting in place such measures will prevent a scenario where beneficiaries fail to repay the loans as has been observed in previous public empowerment schemes.
“In these cases, the failure of loan beneficiaries to repay into the revolving funds hindered others from accessing loans resulting in short-lived and ineffective empowerment schemes,” Mwaipopo said.
He noted that while CTPD appreciated government’s effort to improve access to affordable finance for Individual, Group, Small and Medium Enterprises through CDF, it remained alive to the fact that these were public funds.
Ultimately, according to Mwaipopo, loan beneficiaries should repay these funds in order for constituencies to establish revolving funds that could benefit other members of the community.
Meanwhile, Mwaipopo said CTPD was calling on government to provide an update on the performance of loans and grants being offered to beneficiaries under the CDF Youth, Women and Community Empowerment category.
“CTPD acknowledges that the loans and grants provided through CDF are intended to function as a revolving fund.
“Repayment of these funds is therefore crucial to ensure continual access and empowerment for more Zambians in their respective constituencies,” he concluded.
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