MVR 70 million is relief loans disbursed

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail.

The government, on Thursday, announced the disbursement of MVR 70 million in relief loans introduced by the government to assist businesses facing cashflow constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail and Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer appeared for a joint press conference at the National Emergency Operations Center press briefing on Thursday afternoon.

Speaking at the briefing, Fayyaz said that SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) had received 1,167 applications for its relief package, out of which 764 were from SMEs and 403 were from self-employed individuals.

“Out of this, money has been disbursed on 38 loans to date. 263 applications have been approved. 57 loan applications have been rejected. 25 percent of applications have been processed to date,” he said.

Fayyaz said the main reason for the lag in processing applications was due to the lockdown on the Greater Male’ Region, as well as some employees involve in the process being ordered to isolation.

He said that despite the initial lag, the process had now sped up, and that 90 percent of applications would be processed within next week.

SDFC had rolled out the COVID-19 Viyafaari Ehee, a loan product designed to aid SMEs and self-employed individuals facing cashflow constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic in April.

It is a component of the economic recovery package introduced by Finance Ministry.

SMEs are eligible for up to MVR 500,000, while loan limit for self-employed individuals is MVR 18,000.

Fayyaz recently announced the government was discussing increase the loan limit for self-employed individuals to MVR 30,000.