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K58 billion debt chocks Admarc

POYA—We do not want to come back here years later

By Wezzie Gausi:

The Agricultural Development Marketing and Corporation (Admarc) Monday asked the government for a K58 billion bailout to offset debts it has accumulated since 2012.

Admarc General Manager Rhino Chiphiko made the call on Monday in Lilongwe when corporation officials appeared before Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament officials to answer audit queries for the year ended June 2019.

Chiphiko said the institution was failing to get loans from commercial banks as its balance sheet looks unattractive.

“The loans we are talking about are the ones the government ordered us to get, promising to help the institution pay the money back. However, we are failing to square the loans and are in dire need of help for the institution to function properly.

“To say the truth, Admarc has no money and we need to recapitalise if we are to go back to the vibrant institution we used to be in buying and selling farm produce,” Chiphiko said.

While acknowledging the extent of the problem, Pac Vice Chairperson Ned Poya asked Admarc officials to devise a plan on how they would move forward after the debt has been settled.

“We are going to refer the issue to the House for discussions. However, we do not want to come back here years later with the same issue. Let Admarc find ways of sustaining itself and start making profits,” Poya said.

Admarc has audit queries amounting to about K15 billion, ranging from lack of loan agreement with some banks to lack of supplier account reconciliation.

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