50% of companies miss deadline to repay COVID loans

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The office signage of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) in Yangon.

Approximately half of the companies failed to repay the loan granted by the Working Committee to address the impact of COVID-19, the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations.
The government initiated the COVID-19 fund for businesses stricken by the coronavirus impacts starting in April 2020, with K50 billion allocated from the country’s revolving fund and K150 billion from the 2019-2020 Financial Year General Reserve Fund. The loan was earlier set to pay off within one year at a one per cent interest rate.
The government granted six six-month extensions to repay the loan on 17 March 2021 for the first time, another six months stretching the second time on 11 September 2021 and one more year extension on 4 November 2022. Some businesses failed to repay the loan for over three to four years.
In order to remedy the economic impacts caused by COVID-19, the committee disbursed the loan to the businesses under the approval of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and region and State Chambers of Commerce and Industry through the Myanma Economic Bank and six private banks. Those entities must pay off the loan from which they took them out.
A total of 5,990 pandemic-stricken businesses have been disbursed K158.44 billion from April 2020. Only 1,205 of them paid them off as of May 2024. Some 1,326 have not paid back in full, whereas 3,459 entities still missed multiple payments.  The committee notified them to pay back at their respective banks as soon as possible.
Only K75 billion of K200 billion worth of loans have been settled so far. The committee urged those companies that fail to repay the loan to make payment by 1 July 2024. — TWA/KK

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14 July 2024