Economic Ministry aims issuing over MVR500m as SDFC loans

Image: Hussain Waheed / Mihaaru

The Maldives Minister of Economic Development Mr Fayyaz Ismail has claimed a total of MVR500 million will be issued as loans for the start-up or development of small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

While giving an interview to a local channel, the Maldives Economic Minister noted a total of MVR120 million has already been issued as loans for several start-up ventures and individuals through the designated ‘bank’ for the purpose – the SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC).

However, the Economic Minister asserted that several more parties have been presenting their proposals seeking loan, as he bemoaned stating that the bank’s capacity currently is insufficient in providing loans for all interested parties.

“We are hoping to issue at least MVR500 million for the next two years, as loans for the development of local SMEs. Which means an approximate of MVR1.5 billion will be issued within three years for the initiative. Once the loan repayment starts, we will be able to issue more loans,” Minister Fayyaz Ismail noted.

The total number of application forms requesting for loan to start-up SMEs have reached a monetary worth of MVR1.1 billion. According to the minister, a rough total of 100 applications are filed at the SDFC bank every month.

Minister further admitted that the support and feedback to the initiative has been unprecedented, while the administrative staffs at SDFC bank are on tight duty over the unending application forms.

Furthermore, the Maldives Minister of Economic Development revealed the SDFC bank will be hiring additional staffs in the upcoming months to further utilize the internal processes in order to provide loans at exceptional timeframes.

Minister Fayyaz Ismail had also addressed the most alarming concern of the long waiting period, that several applicants go through. According to the Minister, improvements to the process are currently underway that will cut the long waiting period and the applicants will be notified if they are subject to the loan or not within a duration of 14 days.

The SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) was officially opened on March 2019 with a capital of MVR150 million, as part of the current government’s pledge in providing ease for local start-ups and entrepreneurs in commencing trade and businesses.

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