The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr.
Renganaden Padayachy, made this
statement today in the National Assembly in reply to a Parliamentary Question with
regards to measures put in place for enterprises presently encountering
economic difficulties and to prevent mass unemployment after the lifting of the
Dr. Padayachy elaborated
the various measures which demonstrate the unwavering commitment of Government towards the Mauritians.
They are: (i) the Bank of Mauritius (BOM) Support Programme;
(ii) the Business Support Plan; (iii) the Wage Assistance Scheme for employees; and (iv)
the Self Employed Assistance Scheme for the self-employed.
With regard to the Bank of Mauritius Support Programme, he
highlighted that the BOM has introduced exceptional assistance in the form of
loans through commercial banks. This measure, he added, with an envelope to the
tune of some five billion rupees makes provision to meet the cash and working
capital needs of economic operators who are severely affected by the Covid-19.
In an effort to ease the strain on the country's economic players, the BOM
has also eased its guidelines to allow commercial banks to grant a six-month
moratorium on the repayment of capital for pre-existing and contracted loans by
companies a fortiori affected by the Covid-19.
In addition, the BOM has requested commercial banks to grant households a
six-month moratorium on the repayment of housing loan and BOM will cover the
interest owed by households for the period April 1 to June 30, 2020. This
measure, he added will thus protect the purchasing power of households and
alleviate consumer expenditure until economic recovery. Besides, the BOM has
also made available a special line of credit in foreign currency of an amount
of US $ 300 million equivalent to Rs 12 billion to support operators with
foreign currency needs. As for companies dependent on imports, the BOM has set
up an exchange swap agreement between the dollar and the rupee with commercial
banks for an amount of $ 100 million. This agreement will also allow the import-oriented
businesses to benefit from support for their foreign currency needs.
As for the business support plan, the Finance Minister announced that Government
has proposed a series of complementary measures namely to encourage commercial
banks to lend to businesses experiencing economic difficulties. The State
Investment Corporation(SIC), he said, will provide them with the following
guarantees: (i) for economic operators whose turnover is less than or equal to Rs
50 million (ie SMEs), the SIC provides a guarantee of 60% of the credit
facilities; and (ii) for economic operators with a turnover exceeding the
threshold of Rs 50 million, the SIC will provide for a guarantee of up to 50% of
For companies whose annual turnover does not exceed Rs 10 million and
cannot obtain financing from commercial banks, Minister Padayachy underlined
that the Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd will provide them with working capital
of Rs 1 million per company for which an overall sum of one billion rupees has
been earmarked under the scheme.
The State Investment Corporation Ltd and the SME Equity Fund Ltd will in
addition provide equity financing to companies in order to improve their debt
ratio and, as a result, their access to loan facilities. An amount of Rs 4
billion has been earmarked for this purpose.
Government Information Service, Prime
Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius.
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