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BML disburses MVR 45 million for COVID-19 recovery scheme

Shahudha Mohamed
05 May 2020, MVT 21:57
BML's CEO and MD Tim Sawyer (L) and MATI's Secretary General Ahmed Nazeer announces short-term financing facility to support the tourism sector, to mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
05 May 2020, MVT 21:57

Bank of Maldives (BML) disclosed on Tuesday that a total of MVR 45 million was disbursed to 34 customers who applied for the COVID-19 recovery scheme till date.

According to the national bank, the aforementioned funds were paid out to resorts and businesses having a minimum turnover of MVR 10 million.

The bank stated that although funds were disbursed for 34 customers, a total of 63 loans have been evaluated by the bank and approved by the Ministry of Finance so far.

The bank assured that the remaining loans will be distributed as soon as documentation is completed by the customers.

"This is an unsecured facility provided at 6 percent interest per annum for 3 year period, including a grace period of 6 months during which no interest or principal payments will be made", the bank stated.

Customers can continue to apply for the Recovery Scheme, in addition to the other loan and financing facilities available from the Bank.

As part of its support to individuals and businesses facing challenges during the pandemic, BML has made positive changes to its banking services, such as supporting Maldivians living overseas with increase in debit card withdrawal limits and enabling money transfer from MVR accounts, increasing ATM deposit limits.

In a bid to counteract the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy, Maldives government introduced a financial stimulus package with MVR 2.5 billion intended to prevent the closing down of local businesses and the loss of jobs.

As part of government's economic recovery plan to minimize the negative financial impact, Bank of Maldives (BML) will push back its loan repayment period by six months, along with a 20 percent discount on repayment amount, while Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) will extend loan repayments by six months. In addition, Maldives central bank will distribute USD 150 million to banks to mitigate the challenges in acquiring US dollars.

Earlier, the government vowed to reduce state spending by MVR 1 billion. In this regard, the government had slashed the salaries of all political appointees and heads of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by 20 percent. The Parliament followed suit, approving a 20 percent cut on their members’ salaries as well.

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