By Peter Ngunjiri:
Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 6, 2018 (DBSKN) — The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis is now receiving applications from government employees, and registered farmers and fishers desirous of benefitting from the low interest rate loans that have been made available through the instrumentality of the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, had on May 17 announced that Government would launch the first tier of an EC$30 million housing programme targeted at Government employees, and a further EC$ 2 million for an Agriculture Development Fund to assist persons who are serious about pursuing a career in the field of agriculture.
Dr Harris, who is also the Minister of Finance, made the announcement while delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of Caribbean Investment Summit 2018 at the Marriott Resort. He also advised that the loans will be at five per cent which he noted was the lowest in the Federation, and would be disbursed through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Activities at the head office of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis in Basseterre, and branch office in Charlestown, are a notch higher as loan officers have experienced a higher traffic since Friday June 1, the date Prime Minister Harris had said the Bank would start disbursing the loans.
“The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis which is the leader in disbursement of development loans in the country is once again proud to partner with the Government as it embarks on its grounded promise of uplifting the standard of lives for the citizens and residents of this Federation,” said the bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Lenworth Harris.
Noted Mr Harris: “We are the Financial Institution that makes a sustained positive difference in peoples’ lives, and we are ready to extend the same to government employees who stand to benefit from the low interest rates offered through the Government Employees Mortgage Programme, and to registered farmers and fishers through the Agriculture Support Funds.”
According to Development Bank’s CEO, the Government Employees Mortgage Programme is catering for all employees of the Government from Permanent Secretaries to Auxiliary Government workers including those on Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP). The mortgage which will be at an interest rate of five per cent per annum for a period of up to 30 years is intended to bring relief to those wishing to renovate or make repairs to their houses, and for new construction to also include the purchase of land.
“The Bank is also offering its ‘Turn Key’ option whereby it will oversee the building of the property from the planning stage to finish,” said Mr Harris. “In the ‘Turn Key’ operation the Bank would be responsible for plans and drawings. However, if persons wish, they could engage their own contractor and manage their own construction.”
Should the cost of the intended construction, repairs/renovation be more that the maximum loan amount of EC$300,000 under the Government Employees Mortgage Programme, the Bank will still facilitate the applicant. However, any amount above that will be negotiated on the Bank’s applicable terms
The Agriculture Support Fund has two components. The first is the loan component where farmers or fishers who are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture will receive loans at five per cent per annum for up to five years. The second component involves registered farmers and fishers who received damage as a result of the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria will receive grants of up to EC$10,000 subject to terms and conditions.
“Farmers and fishers seeking loans will go through the normal process where they will be guided by our loan officers,” explained Mr Harris. “Those applying for grants have to fill out a special grant application form, which is available at our front desk. Apart from producing a valid registration ID issued by the Ministry of Agriculture/Fisheries Division, an applicant must also produce two valid Government IDs, and invoices of items being purchased.”
Mr Harris is encouraging Government workers, registered farmers and fishers to take advantage of this once in a life time offer by a government that is mindful of the welfare of its people. They should visit the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis office nearest to them, Church Street in Basseterre, St. Kitts, and Ward Building on Island Main Road, Stoney Grove, Charlestown, Nevis.