Fiji Development Bank Chief Executive Officer, Saud Minam has welcomed the 2021-2022 National Budget, saying it is courageous, echoes compassion, and is fit-for-purpose.
Minam says it is a much-needed boost to support FDB’s own efforts, in fitting in the existing support framework for its customers affected by the pandemic, by providing a platform for businesses to sustain themselves during these trying times.
He says the $200 million cash injection to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector (MSMEs), which could be accessed through FDB, fully subsidized for two years, is an enormous commitment by Government for the resilient recovery of Fijian businesses.
Minam says under this initiative when businesses take a loan from FDB, ranging between $10,000 and $100,000, they will not be repaying anything to the Bank for two years and it will be an interest-only loan for that period that the Government will pay on behalf of the business.
He says from the third year, after two full years of cushioned recovery, the businesses can start repaying their loan.
Minam says this budget provides the needful stimulus for a resilient economic recovery by addressing the most wideranging socio-economic aspects of Fijian’s livelihood and safety, as well as the financial burdens of businesses that continue to grapple with the impacts of the pandemic.
He says it is a shot in the arm for our MSMEs, an important sector that supports close to 60 percent of Fijians in job, and their agriculture customers.
FDB Chairman Andre Viljoen says another good news is for their largest customer-base, agriculture. He says with the Government increasing its interest-rate subsidy for agriculture loans by FDB from 6 percent to 8 percent and increasing the loan limit for the subsidy from $50,000 to $100,000, their customers will pay less.
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