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Maldives to loan MVR 7.71 mln to resorts, MVR 1 mln to businesses

Fathmath Shaahunaz
08 April 2020, MVT 16:04
Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer speaks at the NEOC press conference about the COVID-19 Economic Relief Package. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
08 April 2020, MVT 16:04

The government will issue loans up to MVR 7.71 million to tourist resorts and MVR 1 million to all other businesses under its COVID-19 Economic Relief Package.

Ministry of Finance publicised on Tuesday night the details of the administration's stimulus package to offset the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the Maldivian economy.

According to the ministry's press release, tourist resorts and businesses that generate an annual revenue of over MVR 10 million will receive loans from Bank of Maldives (BML) at an interest rate of six percent with a six-month grace period, to be repaid within a period of three years.

The government will look into local ownerships of such companies, with priority given to those with a Maldivian workforce of 45 percent and above. The companies must have generated profits in 2019 to qualify for the loan, while the state will also look into their non-performing assets and prioritise resorts and businesses with a positive cashflow forecast for the next three years.

Any resort or business that laid off local employees or coerced them into taking no-pay leaves in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic will not be eligible for the stimulus package.

Businesses that generate revenue below MVR 10 million per year and self-employed individuals will receive loans from SME Development Finance Corporation. Such companies will also not be eligible if they had terminated local employees over the pandemic.

The loan applications are open from April 8 onwards.

The COVID-19 Economic Relief Package is part of the government's efforts to overcome the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. The state's move includes moratoriums on bank loan and student loan repayments, subsidising electricity and water, and allocating three-month allowances for individuals that were laid off.

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