April 9 deadline for emergency-loan applications

ZEYAR HEINHTIN LYNN AUNG 29 MAR 2020

The government is reminding business owners who wish to apply for emergency loans from a K100 billion fund set up to help deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Myanmar’s economy that they must submit their applications by April 9.

“The loan amount is not fixed and a decision will be made on the size of loan depending on the economic impacts the business has suffered from the outbreak. The priority will be given to the applicants have been deemed to have actually suffered losses,” said U Aung Aye Han, deputy director general of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

The loans will be directed to business owners who are experiencing difficulties paying their employees in three prioritised sectors - SMEs operating under the piece-work system, travel agencies, hotels, food-production businesses, and commodity trading businesses.

“We will accept loan applications from all travel agencies, regardless of their membership or non-membership status with industry organisations because we want them to get the loan faster,” said U Naung Naung Han, chair of the Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association..

Loans from the K100 billion fund will be charged an interest rate of 1 percent for a term of one year. However, the interest rate and loan period will be reviewed depending on the financial situation of the borrower.

Daw Yin Yin Moe, a local textile and garment factory owner, said the challenges are already mounting.  "We were told by our foreign customers not to carry out their orders even though we have already bought the raw materials. Without the cash flow, we are paying wages out of our pockets," she said. 

Meanwhile, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) clarified that businesses not under the three priority categories - the garment industry, hotels and tourism businesses, and small and medium enterprises – are not allowed to apply for the loans

U Aung Thein, chair of the UMFCCI’s SME Development Committee, said limiting the applicants will help the authorities disburse the funds more quickly and efficiently.

“We’ll accept application forms starting from March 30 and we’ll analyse whether the applicants’ businesses are included in the specified sectors,” said said U Aung Thein.

Credit: Myanmar Time News

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