Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises Association says the K35 000 emergency cash transfer meant for small businesses is not enough to cushion beneficiaries from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The chamber’s president James Chiutsi, while commending government for the initiative, hoped the amount would be adjusted upwards.
He said: “We hope this will be reviewed after the first month.
“As it is, it would also be necessary to ensure that the targeted recipients do actually benefit and also to see whether the intervention does really have the desired effect.”
Blantyre Market section chairperson Asante Chigwaza said in an interview on Wednesday that although the waiver may assist businesses, it does not go far to aid challenges faced by small businesses due to the political impasse created by the May 2019 Tripartite Elections.
The cash transfer, whose implementation begins in May, was announced by President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday as a means to support Malawians who depend on the markets for their survival.
Mutharika said government is targeting a minimum of 172 000 households, representing an estimated 35 percent of the urban population.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson Williams Banda said in an interview on Wednesday the cash transfer will help households to meet their basic needs and also to recover from the effects of the restrictions.
Banda said the money would come from government’s disaster management arm and the donor community.
Ministry of Population and Social Welfare is expected to devise an implementation process which will include registration of households in the hotspot areas.