M15m disbursed as COVID-19 relief fund

M15m disbursed as COVID-19 relief fund
M15m disbursed as COVID-19 relief fund

Africa-Press – Lesotho. A total of M15 million from the M50 million budget for Private Sector Covid-19 Relief Fund has been disbursed to 1018 formal sectors across the 10 districts.
This was revealed by Private Sector Competitiveness and Economic Diversification Project (PSCEDP) Manager Chaba Mokuku last week. He said they received applications of registered businesses from the ten districts of Lesotho through the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) different organizations. Mokuku said
from the M50 million that the government had budged for the Covid-19 relief fund, a total of over M15 million has been disbursed to all eligible businesses,
adding that there is M34 million remaining. “From the M15 million, 1018 formal sectors covering the 10 districts of Lesotho were shared M9 290 million and a total of over M5 million was distributed among 11455 informal sector businesses.
”We still have applications in our office awaiting to be funded and they are 3003 for informal sector and 165 for formal sector. There are also 319 applications of registered businesses that have not received the funds because they did not abide by the terms and conditions set,” he said. He explained that the terms and conditions were for businesses to have been operating for at least two years before COVID-19, have financial statements and be paying tax. He noted that they have requested for over M2 million from the Ministry of Finance and

as soon as they get it, they will pass it down to the SMEs. In a bid to mitigate the adverse effect of the national lockdown caused by COVID-19 on businesses, the government of Lesotho had in 2020 launched the Private Sector COVID-19 Relief Fund which was budgeted for a total of M50 million with an initial allocation of M20 million by the Ministry of Finance.

According to the Principal Secretory in the Cabinet Office Kabelo Lehora, following the declaration of the novel COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, the government of Lesotho had responded to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s outcry for control of the virus spread by announcing a nationwide lockdown that unfortunately adversely affected the private sector.
“After realizing that the COVID-19 situation affected most SMEs, we resolved to come up with this initiative, which was a gateway to fulfil the responsibility of the government,” he said and further spelled out the rumour that the money has since been allocated but not disbursed.

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