Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that MVR 1.3 billion in loans have been made available to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) since the current administration assumed office.
Minister Fayyaz indicated at a news conference held on Tuesday at the President’s Office that the government has provided significant financial support to SMEs. He stated that around MVR 1 billion in loans had been selected for distribution to 765 enterprises, with MVR 524 million made accessible. In addition to this, MVR 363 million in loans have been made available to 2,200 SMEs to help them overcome the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Fayyaz, COVID-related loans have also been made accessible to restaurants and cafés, with MVR 16 million in loans made available to 5 businesses through Bank of Maldives (BML) and MVR 33 million to 156 enterprises through SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC). Fayyaz went on to say that 90 of the eateries were in the Greater Male’ area.
The government had earlier announced a new economic stimulus plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of giving up to MVR 10 million in loans through BML and MVR 1 million to SMEs through SDFC.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to apply for loans under three different categories beginning July 1st,” Fayyaz stated.
The loans would be granted at a 6% interest rate and a repayment period of 5 to 8 years to support enterprises with working capital, to provide financial assistance to current business projects, and to develop business in a sustainable manner or to modify the business model, according to Fayyaz.