Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says the cost of borrowing money in Zambia is too high and inconsistent with the low level of inflation in the country.
Mr Chikwanda says the current scenario is against the spirit of empowerment.
The Minister was speaking when he met the top Management officials in the Ministry of Finance in Lusaka on Friday.
Mr Chikwanda says there is need to ensure that commercial interest rates in the Zambian Banking and Financial Services Sector respond to the movement of other macroeconomic variables like the current single-digit inflation.
He says Government will advocate pro-growth interest rates that have led to the current prohibitive interest rates.
Mr Chikwanda observes that women and the youth have bright ideas and business proposals which they cannot implement because of high interest rates.
He says institutions of development like the Development Bank of Zambia must be accessible and adequately financed to enable people benefit from government’s pro-poor policies.
Mr. Chikwanda has called on management to ensure that the Ministry of Finance becomes a model of professionalism in the public service, by promoting an open door consultative system.
In attendance were Secretary to the Treasury – Likolo Ndalamei, Permanent Secretaries Emmanuel Ngulube and Anthony Undi.
This is according to a statement released to ZNBC News in Lusaka by Ministry of Finance Public Relations Officer Chileshe Kandeta.[ZNBC]