August 10: The government has started homework to avail concessional loan to the businesses and industries affected by coronavirus at an interest rate of 5 percent per annum.
The government intends to provide the concessional loan from the fund of Rs 50 billion announced while unveiling the budget of the current fiscal year.
The Ministry of Finance has started homework to seek funds from various donor agencies. Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada has especially urged the World Bank and ADB to provide concessional loan for the sectors affected by coronavirus.
A high-ranking official at the ministry informed New Business Age that the ministry has received positive response to the appeal.
According to the source, donor agencies are also discussing about the possibility of diverting foreign investment to the fund.
“It is difficult to continue with the ongoing projects during the current crisis. Therefore, we are discussing about the possibility to channeling the investment of the projects toward the fund,” said the source requesting anonymity.
However, the finance ministry is not certain how much amount will be deposited in the fund. The government is expecting to collect half the pledged amount from donor agencies.
Officials at the ministry said that the government is making efforts to execute the plans and policies announced to support the businesses and organisations badly affected by coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown imposed by the government.
Another official at the finance ministry said they are preparing a work procedure to authorize Nepal Rastra Bank to provide the concessional loans to the affected groups.
Once the work procedure is complete, the ministry will deposit the amount and seek applications from the private sector for availing the loan.
The work procedure is focused on supporting small and medium scale industries and to facilitate the tourism sector to pay the salary of the workers, said the source requesting anonymity.
“We will finalize everything within a month,” said the official.