Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, is appealing for microfinance institutions to lower interest rates on loans for small business owners.
“I encourage microlenders to ensure that your (loan) products are not exploitative with high interest rates that, instead of lifting our entrepreneurs, push them into a situation of unproductivity and perpetual borrowing,” he said.
The Minister, who was addressing the Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance Forum at the Hyatt Ziva in Montego Bay on Thursday, October 11, outlined that the end goal of microfinance should be to have its users outgrow small loans “graduate and become ready for better and cheaper avenues of financing.”
He said that the Government is working on the Microcredit Bill, which will, among other things, regulate micro financiers and protect their customers. “The Microcredit Bill is being promulgated and is undergoing the final stages of preparation by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel prior to submission to Parliament,” he said.