The Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Ariff Ali says the $96.6 million disbursed in loans to over 4,500 businesses to date is timely and ensures that disruptions to business operations are minimised, and much-needed working capital is provided to firms enabling them to survive until the economy fully reopens.
The funds have been disbursed under the Government Guarantee and Interest Subsidy Scheme, where borrowers do not pay interest or fees for the first two years.
Ali says the scheme is serving its objectives and the bulk of businesses assisted are Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.
He further states that in the 2021/2022 National Budget, the Government announced a $200 million credit guarantee and interest subsidy scheme under the Disaster Rehabilitation and Containment Facility to assist businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ali also says the enhanced Disaster Rehabilitation and Containment Facility now offers a limited and tiered guarantee with interest payments for the first two years fully subsidised by the Government.
The RBF states the total interest cost to the Government over the two years on the loans disbursed under this facility to date is approximately more than $7.4 million.
The Bank says however, the savings for businesses would be considerably higher as their cost of funds has reduced and in addition, businesses do not have to pay any fees or charges for the first two years on the loan.
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