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Tuesday 17 October 2017
Politics

Minister: Credit unions have a role to play

Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte. PHOTO BY SHANE SUPERVILLE.

Wastage and mismanagement came into sharp focus yesterday at the launch of the Co-operative and Credit Union League of TT’s annual meeting at the Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain, as Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte urged credit unions to do their part in promoting economic growth.

Le Hunte said while the recession stands to have negative economic impacts on business, there are still opportunities for both large and small companies to thrive even as resources have become scarce. He said credit unions play an important role in stimulating economic activity by providing loans at lower interest rates to small businesses. “Recognising the role that small business plays in the national development, we have outlined a number of different initiatives to encourage entrepreneurial activities. We have for example introduced a business development incentive programme which would encourage the establishment of small and medium enterprises to this end, appropriation of $50 M were made in the 2018 budget for this programme.”

Le Hunte added that while government remains committed to diversification there were several challenges in promoting diversification especially with respect to the agricultural sector as land ownership continues to be a major issue preventing farmers access to loans.

“Theres a lot of systemic problems in agriculture. If you are operating on a parcel of land, you don’t have rights to the land or you have an application that has been there for over 20 years, you cannot use this land as leverage to get a loan to be able to expand your operations so you stay in farming at a particular level without being able to improve.”

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