“The pace will accelerate,” promises the government.

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The economic, social and humanitarian support plan, announced on March 31 by Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, is starting to be implemented. This plan must reach 1,700 billion FCFA (2.6 billion euros) but it is still far from it.

With our correspondent in Abidjan, Pierre Pinto

The plan aims to support the agricultural sector, the informal sector and the most vulnerable households, as well as small and large businesses hit by the effects of the pandemic.

We are at the start, the pace will accelerate “Concedes the Minister of Economy and Finance, Adama Coulibaly, detailing the first sums paid under this plan announced on March 31.

For example, the fund for large companies, which will eventually be endowed with 100 billion CFA francs, or 150 million euros, has so far paid only 1.1 billion. It must be said that out of this 100 billion, only 30 are currently available.

For these large companies, and subject to meeting certain criteria, the aid is in the form of a loan, as explained by the Minister of Trade and Industry Souleymane Diarrassouba: ” The purpose of the loan is to finance working capital requirements. And until January 31, 2021, the company pays neither principal nor interest. It’s an overall effective interest rate of 3%

As for SMEs, companies with a turnover of less than 1 billion CFA francs, the government has so far disbursed only 48 million francs.

Three types of aid exist, depending on the size of these companies, explains the Minister for SMEs, Félix Anoblé: ” The first window is a grant window not exceeding 500,000 CFA francs. The second segment is a window that can give loans up to 10 million CFA francs at zero rate. The third window allows you to have loans at 2.5% up to 15 million for small business, and up to 100 millions for the medium-sized enterprise.

Regarding the informal sector, grants of 200 to 300,000 francs are planned, but the government says it has validated for the moment a list of only 1,260 beneficiaries.

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