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May 26, 2020

Delivering COVID-19 loans to SMEs is key to preventing damage to communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has left its impact on all sectors of the economy but nowhere is the hurt as much as the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
To remedy the economic impacts caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19), CMP enterprises, hotels and tourism services, along with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are designated as priority sectors that need assistance, and a COVID-19 Fund of Ks 100 billion has been set up by the Union Government to distribute loans to them.
Loans at an interest of 1 per cent for a one-year period have been granted to enterprises, most in Yangon Region, for three times so far during the COVID-19 crisis.
The fourth COVID-19 loan programme will focus on small and medium enterprises in regions and states.
It is critical to ensure that disbursing loans to enterprises comply with the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) of Myanmar as the loan programme was created to help businesses which are experiencing financial hardships during the pandemic.
Under the decision of the meeting 2/2020 of the Task Force to Remedy the Economic Impact that may be caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19), CMP enterprises, hotels and tourism services and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are designated as priority sectors that need remedy, and a COVID-19 Fund of Ks 100 billion has been set up to disburse loans to them.
In this updated situation, the programme should also focus on other sectors which should be given priorities in terms of financial assistance.
It is important to get the COVID-19 loans into the hands of small and medium businesses in regions and states before they shut their doors permanently as it would have a damaging effect on the communities we serve and their residents.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that Myanmar has been informed to get an IMF loan of $300 million to $700 million, and the CBM will coordinate with the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry after receiving the loan.
We are confident that the government’s response in a timely manner to the current situation would help offset the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the small and medium enterprises.

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