A total of MVR 89.8 million has been disbursed as income support allowances for individuals and households affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to latest statistics publicized by the Ministry of Finance, allowances were issued to 8,648 individuals out of the 21,182 applicants, by September 24.
Statistics go on to reveal that the country’s national bank, Bank of Maldives (BML) had disbursed MVR 530 million to 375 businesses under the Recovery Loan Scheme by September 24.
The SME Development and Finance Corporation (SDFC) provided MVR 291 million for a total of 1,768 businesses as well.
Disbursements made under the Economic Relief Package stood at MVR 1,013.7 billion as of September 24, this the ministry said is an increase of 0.7 percent in comparison to the previous week.
From September 18 - 24, an additional disbursement of MVR 6.9 million was made to NSPA for the implementation of the income support allowance and no further allocations were made to any other schemes in that week, said the ministry.
Overall, MVR 96.7 million has been issued in total for the income support stimulus package, recovery loans and discounts on utility bills.
A total of MVR 10.2 million has been provided as discount on water bills to 46,392 households, a majority of which was covered by the Maldives Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC), having contributed MVR 9.8 million for 33,198 households. Also unchanged from the previous statistics issued by September 10, MVR 48.2 million has been issued as discount on electricity bills, the top contributor remaining STELCO.
Introduced under the government’s economic relief package following the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the income support allowance is being issued since May 20 and a monthly income of MVR 5,000 is provided under specific conditions.
The goal of the economic relief package was to ensure job continuity for Maldivians, at a time large-scale terminations and wage cuts have taken place. Those who have been terminated, put on no-pay leave or suspended from their jobs are eligible for the allowance. This includes individuals in probation and temporary positions, these individuals will receive an allowance of MVR 5,000 for the six-month period.
A total of MVR 30,000 is awarded under the six-month allowance, between April to September. It aims to provide financial assistance to those who have had their lives and income affected by the pandemic and are unable to meet essential needs such as settling rent payments and others. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 65 years and employed in the Maldives by December 1, 2019.