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Wednesday, 21 October

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) loan scheme changes approach by discouraging the handout mentality to a more genuine and formal means of empowering local businesses in the country.

This was revealed by Under Secretary Technical (Ag) of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) Mr. Riley Mesepitu.

Mesepitu said the MSME loan scheme is not like what government use to do in the past by giving grants to applicants, with no monitoring on how the money spent and no repayment of money borrowed.

He said with the new partnership arrangement between Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) and MCILI, Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) and the three commercial banks, namely BSP, ANZ and POB, the loan scheme will have criteria on applicants seeking assistance to boost their businesses.

UST acting elaborated that CBSI will be the recipient of application as they will administer the scheme, while MCILI will provide evaluation and advices for successful applicants, during the implementation of the loan.

He admitted that criteria for the MSME loan scheme will depend entirely on the commercial banks; in this case local entrepreneurs have to be genuine and have assets to act as security to their loans.

Mesepitu encourage those in the rural areas to register their plantation coconuts and cocoa, so that those properties could be use as security to their loans.

Finally, he said interest rates for repayment will depend on the commercial banks and not MCILI.