More than 700 applications have been sent in for the MVR50 million (US$3.2 million) small and medium enterprises loan scheme, the economics ministry said Sunday.
The loan scheme, provided through the state budget, offers sums of up to MVR500,000 for individuals and of up to MVR1.5 million for partnerships fully owned by Maldivians.
Deputy economics minister Adam Thaufeeg told Avas Online that 759 applications had been received for the SME scheme this year. The ministry is working to approve the loans by June, he added.
The loans are issued at an interest rate of seven percent and have to be paid within nine years, with a grace period of one year.
The scheme mostly focuses on the following sectors: tourism, transport, construction, agriculture and cooperative society.
Priorities are for partnerships in which a majority stake is owned by women, young people or those with disabilities.