Fish exporters issued MVR 51 million in loans

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed, on Tuesday, said that fish exporting companies have been issued MVR 51 million in loans under the MVR 100 million loan facility announced by Fisheries Ministry.

The loan facility was established following discussions between local yellow fin tuna fishermen and Fisheries Ministry officials, during which they voiced concern over lack of companies to purchase their catch.

In April, Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed made an appearance at a press conference at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC), during which she said that the Fisheries Ministry had issued MVR 20 million in loans to four companies under the facility.

At the parliamentary sitting on Tuesday afternoon, Speaker Nasheed said eight companies have been issued MVR 51 million in loans under the facility.

Nasheed said the companies issued loans under the facility exported a combined 644,854 kilos of fish in the months April and May; 408,091 kilos in April, and 236,763 kilos in May.

He said that it takes fish exporting companies 90 to 120 days to receive payments for fish exports, a delay which results in companies facing cash flow constraints.

Nasheed said he hoped the rest of the MVR 49 million in the facility will not be utilized for another purpose, but spent to issue loans to fish exporting companies.

Minister Zaha previously stated that loans under the facility will be issued every 10 days, depending on the quantity of fish purchased by the company.

In an effort to The Maldivian government, in addition to the loan facility, has also announced it will grant concessions on loans taken for boatbuilding and engine installation in an effort to mitigate the losses to the fisheries industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.