Plans are on track for the Government, by next year, to access at least a third of the estimated $45 billion in unclaimed funds lying dormant in accounts of local commercial banks.
“Tomorrow (today) between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., we are going to negotiate with the bidder. We have selected the bidder and are going to negotiate price, and hopefully, the consultant will be on board in two weeks to start work on this, with a view to completing their work within four months,” Oral Shaw, principal director of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) unit in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries disclosed yesterday.
“This is with a view to making recommendations about how the money should be used, how the fund should become operational so that Government can get access to this money by the start of the next fiscal year.”
The director at the first quarterly meeting of the MSME National Planning Implementation Committee continued: “So this $15 billion will not come, I think, before the year ends, because of the work to be done, but it will more than likely come if they come to the recommendation that it is efficacious and it is feasible to utilise unclaimed funds.”
Shaw went on to explain that the idea of using the money in dormant accounts to provide affordable seed loan funding for MSMEs had received partisan support when it was first floated about many years ago.
The consultant with whom the Government will negotiate today was selected following submissions of financial and technical proposals from a short list via the public tender process.