More than 400 applicants from Mandalay Region have applied for emergency coronavirus pandemic fund and 93 of them have been approved to receive the loan so far.
The priority sectors for the fund of K100 billion are CMP garment businesses, hotels and tourism services and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“A total of 417 businesspersons applied for the coronavirus loan at Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI). Some applied through an online platform. As the coronavirus fund to enterprises hit hard by the pandemic is set at K100 billion and the loan granted has not reached its fund limit of K100 billion, there is still hope for businesses. Although the businesses do not know the amount of loan they will get, they are happy that their businesses are listed on the businesses approved to the fund. During the pandemic, the fund will contribute the businesses a lot.
Furthermore, the interest rate of 1 per cent for one year is extremely low. The businesses approved for the loan includes food industry, weaving business, hotels and tourism enterprise, private schools and gems and jewellery business,” said MRCCI general secretary U Okkar Kyaw.
Regarding coronavirus fund, five businesspersons out of 178 applicants selected in the second batch, one of 101 in the third batch and 87 of 417 in the fourth batch are from Mandalay Region.
“I am glad that I get the fund. We follow the health guidelines and offer food takeaway or delivery. We cannot terminate employment immediately. The income drops by about one-fourth. We cannot expect the high income after the crisis of pandemic. We need to survive in this with the fund. We have prepared for prevention measures in line with health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports to contain the spread of the pandemic when the businesses can resume operations,” said U Kyaw Thu Aung, a tea shop owner from Maha Aung Myay Township.
The amount of loan granted and further procedures will be released at MRCCI office on 1 June. The loan applications were accepted between 30 March and 9 April and a total of 4,258 applicants applied for it. So far, the government has granted over K28 billion loans to over 700 businesses in the country.
The eligibility for the maximum amount of emergency coronavirus fund can vary depending on the workforce in factories, said UMFCCI general secretary U Aye Win.
“Majority of the applications are from SMEs, followed by the hotel businesses and CMP garment factories. However, CMP garment factories will receive the highest loan amount as they are labour-intensive businesses. SMEs with the small number of workers will get access to small amount only,” he stressed at the press conference of UMFCCI held in mid-May.
Some businesses shut down during the early outbreak. The emergency coronavirus loan aims to ease the economic burden faced by the virus-stricken businesses, and not to expand the business and put capital for businesses. Mainly, the government intends to help the business keep operations and the workers get the salary for at least three months. — IPRD, Myint Maung(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)