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Commercial banks agree to reduce interest rates

The Commercial Banks have reacted favourably to the Government's request to reduce interest rates on lending to the private commercial and industrial sectors, a statement quoting Finance Minister, K. N. Choksy said yesterday.

The Commercial Banks who attended Monday's Conference chaired by the Finance Minister have indicated reductions of interest ranging from 3% to 1% in identified sectors of industrial and economic activity. The reduction of 3% will apply mainly to the small and medium scale industrial sector.The agricultural sector will be the greatest beneficiary of the reductions, enjoying a decrease of interest from 11% to 8% for advances obtained from the Banks for purpose of purchasing planting material, fertilizer and pesticides. Each Bank is providing the Central Bank with particulars of the reduction made by the bank in the various sectors.

The decision made by the Bankers is consequent upon the conference summoned by the Finance Minister at which he urged the banks to reduce lending rates in line with improved monetary and economic conditions, and the recent reductions by the Central Bank of its lending rates to the Commercial Banks. The Minister had stressed the reduction of the cost of finance was essential to stimulate the industrial sector and increase employment, the statement said.

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