Only 28 Bulawayo companies apply for Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund: Manungo

Only 28 Bulawayo companies apply for Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund: Manungo
Published: 03 February 2012 (11525 Views)
State media reports that ONLY 28 companies in Bulawayo have applied for the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf), which is being disbursed through CABS, a Government official said yesterday.

Last week the Government shortlisted 58 Bulawayo companies earmarked to benefit from the $40 million fund.

In an interview yesterday the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Willard Manungo, said the fund was being disbursed and the 28 companies would share $15 million, of which $2 million has already been given out.

"We have started disbursing the funds through CABS and only 28 companies have applied for the fund so far. The 28 companies will share $15 million and we have so far disbursed $2 million," said Mr Manungo.

"The bank is going through the logistics of sharing the remaining $13 million. Although the Government had shortlisted 58 companies, only 28 applied to the bank while the rest have not done so as we speak."

He said the fund took a long time to be disbursed because of the annual shutting down of companies between December and January.

"Companies must take into account that the process took a bit long because we were disturbed by the annual shutdown by most companies, which re-opened on 18 January this year.

"However, we are progressing well and the bank would disburse the fund accordingly," said Mr Manungo.

He urged other companies to continue submitting applications to CABS, saying the Government had released the $40 million.

"I would like to encourage more companies to submit their applications to the bank because the fund has the capacity to accommodate more companies," said Mr Manungo.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti launched the $40 million under Dimaf in October last year following recommendation by the task force on the Let Bulawayo Survive campaign.

However, for the past three months the fund has been mired in controversy amid squabbling in the Inclusive Government with some saying it was not meant for Bulawayo companies alone.

A number of city industries opened two weeks ago after a holiday break amid reports that some failed to do so because of financial challenges.
Most businesses are pinning their hopes on the fund to revamp their operations after closing shop due to operational challenges.

The Government has projected that industries in the country will achieve 80 percent capacity utilisation by the end of this year from last year's 57,59 percent.

Bulawayo has experienced increased job losses in the past years that have been attributed to the closure and relocation of companies to other cities, especially Harare.

- Chronicle

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