The government has issued a total of MVR 885 million in loans for businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, under its Covid-19 Recovery Loan Scheme.
Statistics publicized by the Ministry of Finance revealed that a total of MVR 555.7 million was issued through the Bank of Maldives (BML), while MVR 329.3 million was issued through the SME Development and Finance Corporation (SDFC), by November 26.
Although 594 individuals had applied for loans through the national bank, only 417 applicants received approval out of which 395 have been assisted thus far. BML also rejected 17 applications.
The statistics went on to highlight that 1,969 individuals received loans through SDFC, out of which 1,354 were businesses and 615 were self-employed individuals.
1,973 businesses applied for a total of MVR 545.6 million out of which SDFC approved 1,483 applications, totaling MVR 353.4 million. 2,012 self-employed individuals also applied for MVR 51.3 million, out of which 661 applications were approved and 590 rejected.
By November 26, the total sanctioned for 1,469 businesses reach MVR 351.4 million. 72 business applications were rejected.
Finance Ministry also sanctioned 663 applications by self-employed individuals, at MVR 20.3 million. A total of MVR 18.4 million was disbursed to self-employed applicants and MVR 310.9 million for businesses.
The greatest number of loan applications approved by SDFC by sector, were for the commercial sector, at 817 totaling MVR 195.2 million. This is followed by the self-employed sector where 661 applications were approved out of the 2,012 applications received, totaling MVR 19.7 million. MVR 54.7 million was approved for 236 applicants from the tourism sector, where 315 applications were received by November 26.
Out of the 280 applications received through the construction sector, SDFC approved MVR 58.8 million for 202 applicants.
Further, a total of 563 female applicants had been approved for MVR 115.9 million in loans out of the 920 female applicants. In total, loans were approved for 559 businesses and 361 self-employed women. MVR 3.7 million was approved for freelancers and MVR 112.2 million for businesses.
Finance ministry partnered with SDFC to administer the Covid-19 Recovery Scheme targeted towards SMEs and self-employed and freelance workers, as part of the government’s Economic Relief Package.
The scheme is being implemented via the “Viyafaari Ehee” loan introduced by SDFC and is targeted towards SMEs facing difficulties in meeting their operational requirements in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.
Only SMEs with an annual turnover of less than MVR 10 million in 2019 are eligible for the loan.
Eligible SMEs may apply for loans up to 10 percent of its annual sales turnover for the past year -capped up to MVR 500,000- at six percent interest per annum for a three-year period, said the ministry.
Further, it has been revealed that the repayment period excludes the grace period up to six months in which no interest is charged. Funding is liable on SMEs that do not terminate local employees due to the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as during the funding period.
The ministry’s latest statistics reveal that total disbursements made under the Economic Relief Package stood at MVR 1,360.1 billion by November 26.