Millers get Sh1bn for last year’s maize subsidy
Millers have this week received Sh1 billion as the government moved to clear the mountain of debt that accrued as it rolled out the maize subsidy programme ahead of last year’s polls.
Millers have been demanding Sh3.8 billion from the Ministry of Agriculture for the maize that they imported during the subsidy programme that ended last year in December.
“We are move to clear the money that we owe them (millers),” said Dr Lesiyampe.
Chairman of the Cereal Millers Association Nick Hutchinson confirmed they had received the funds from the State.
“The money was wired to millers and the government has given an undertaking of clearing the remaining amount within a short time,” said Mr Hutchinson.
The Sh6 billion subsidy programme started last year in May to tame the rising cost of flour that had hit a high of Sh153 per two kilo packet.
Initially, the scheme was to end in September, but the government extended it to December for fear that the prices would have gone up were it to be terminated then.
Millers said last month that the government did not pay them the money that they used to import the grain after the programme was extended.
Under the programme, millers were buying a 90 kilogramme bag of maize at about Sh4,000 and sell to the government at Sh2,300, with the State paying for the difference.
Millers say they have been struggling to procure stocks for milling for lack of cash, which had nearly paralysed activities at the mills.