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State loan facility issues MVR 51 mln to fish exporters

Mariyam Malsa
24 June 2020, MVT 12:56
MIFCO Employees working at the Felivaru factory in Lhaviyani Atoll. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
24 June 2020, MVT 12:56

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed, on Tuesday, revealed that the government's loan facility issued MVR 51 million to eight fish exporting companies as a measure to stabilise cash flow.

Speaking during a parliamentary session, Nasheed emphasized the importance of contributions made by the Maldivian fisheries industry to national income.

"Over the last two months, Maldives did not receive any other revenue", he said.

According to Nasheed, total 644,854 kilograms of fish were exported over the past two months with 408,091 kg and 236,763 kg exported in April and May respectively.

The government decided to establish an MVR 100 million loan scheme for the fisheries sector in April as a short term measure to address challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Only companies with records of exporting Maldivian fish products over the previous six months are eligible for these loans.

The parliament speaker stated that fish exporting companies typically faced delays of between 90 and 120 days before receiving payment, resulting in cash flow disruptions in the industry.

He asserted that the remainder of MVR 49 million from the loan facility should also be issued to fish exporting companies instead of being reallocated for a different purpose.

The COVID-19 outbreak caused a decline in global raw fish demand following the closure of restaurants and hotels in several foreign countries, as well as the worldwide slowdown of economic activities.

The aforementioned market changes were predicted to heavily affect local companies involved in exporting raw fish.

The majority of Maldives' export revenue is sourced from exports of fish, with raw fish shipments accounting for as many as 60 percent of fish exports.

Among European countries, France, Germany and the UK were previously noted to be the largest importers of Maldivian fish products.

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