POKHARA – Gandaki Province Chief Minister Krishna Chandra Nepali has reaffirmed his commitment to give continuity to salvage COVID-19 affected business persons in the Province through Life Saving Fund.
In a discussion with the representatives of the Nepal Rastra Bank, Pokhara’s Office Director and other financial institutions in Pokhara today, CM Nepali shared that the provincial government’s programmes and policies for the new fiscal year 2021/22 had already incorporated programme to give continuity to the Fund.
Stating that the financial stimulus was introduced to small and medium scale businesspersons whose business was affected by COVID-19, CM Nepali said that the Fund will continue for three more years. He also instructed the banks and financial institutions to consider changes in the procedure for the small and medium scale businessperson to procure loan in a hassle-free manner.
Rastra Bank’s officiating secretary Ramchandra Dhakal remarked the programme relating to the Fund would be very effective since the BFIs’ contribution to the Fund would be around Rs 8 billion as against the province government’s contribution of Rs 1 billion.
Likewise, Nepal Rastra Bank’s Pokhara branch office’s director Ishwori Prasad Bhattarai said that initially there were some difficulties in implementing this programme due to procedure but the programme has been running effectively.
A total of 6,778 applications were submitted by the entrepreneurs demanding Rs 7.6 billion for which approval has been secured for Rs 4.5 billion, he said. The provincial government introduced the Life Saving Fund to offset the effect of COVID-19 on the sectors of tourism, transportation, agriculture and other services.
The BFIs here have been providing loans to the entrepreneurs from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 million under four different headings. The interest of the loan has been borne by the provincial government. The loan has to be paid back within three years.