With the COVID-19 pandemic turning its screws on the Jamaican economy, Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday announced a stimulus package to reduce interest rates by one percentage point to new National Housing Trust (NHT) borrowers while offering existing mortgagors a 0.5 per cent rate cut.
The reduction in interest rate for existing mortgagors will benefit 100,000 persons.
Additionally, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is seeking to shore up the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector by offering players a moratorium on loans for two months on both principal and interest.
In his contribution to the Budget Debate in Parliament yesterday, Holness also said that the DBJ would slash interest rates on existing loans to the agriculture and renewable- energy sectors by 0.75 per cent for the next two months.
The DBJ will also offer $10 billion for on-lending to the agriculture sector through accredited financial institutions. These institutions, according to Holness, have an obligation to pass on the 0.75 per cent cut in interest rate to borrowers.
Giving details on the benefits to NHT mortgagors, the prime minister said that the Trust would introduce measures to safeguard people from losing their homes while increasing their disposable income.
He said that the NHT has put in place special relief for mortgagors who have lost their jobs owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.