A lot of small businesses would not have been able to access loans during the pandemic if it was not for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme.
This was stressed by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Ariff Ali while making a submission to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on the Audit Report on Compliance Audits Relating to COVID-19 Response.
Ali says accessing these loans meant these businesses could feed themselves, create employment, pay taxes and not rely on the Government or others.
He says the overall benefit of this scheme is through its contribution to Fiji’s gross domestic product and taxes which is far more than the total guarantee paid for these loans.
Ali says to date, they have approved 5,500 loans under this facility and of this, 78 percent of loans have been given to micro and small businesses.
Meanwhile, Ali also confirms the RBF manages a total pool of $1 billion of loans to around 6,000 customers.
He says most central banks normally do not do this and it is being done to support to the economy.
The RBF has lent about $350 million to 300 customers under the Disaster Recovery Facility and $500 million to about 281 companies through the Import Substitution and Export Finance Facility
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