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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has named the agencies through which the $1 billion to be deducted from the National Insurance Fund (NIF) for small business development, will be disbursed.
The Prime Minister, who was making her contribution to the 2006/07 Budget Debate in Gordon House yesterday (May 9), informed that the National Development Foundation of Jamaica will receive $100 million; the Micro Investment Development Agency $100 million; the People’s Cooperative Banks $250 million; credit unions $250 million and the Jamaica Business Development Centre $50 million.
In addition, community-based organizations such as churches with outreach development programme are to receive $100 million, while $100 million is to be disbursed to other institutions.
The Prime Minister assured that, the funds would be disbursed through responsible organizations experienced in working with the small and medium-sized enterprises.
“These organizations possess a sound track record of efficient management and accountability,” she told the House, adding that the money would not be used in such a way as to jeopardize the scheme. “That would be irresponsible, reckless and crazy and I would never be party to that,” she stated.
Mrs. Simpson Miller further stressed that the investment of $1 billion from the NIF for micro and small business credit was part of the strategic thinking of the board to participate in projects that have a significant developmental impact, specifically geared at economic growth and employment creation.
“It is clear then that we are doing something about giving the people a chance and about transferring the resources of the poor to the poor,” she said.