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Flood rehab facility extends assistance

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, February 04, 2013

THE central bank's Flood Rehabilitation Facility has extended its assistance to businesses affected by natural disasters.

In a statement, the Reserve Bank said the facility had been renamed the Natural Disaster Rehabilitation Facility (NDRF).

"The funding allocation set for the facility has been increased to $40million from $20m previously," RBF said.

"The maximum interest rate that eligible businesses will be charged under the facility has been reduced from 6 per cent to 5 per cent per annum for all new loans under the facility."

The bank said businesses affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan could apply for loans of up to $0.5m for production loss under NDRF.

The production loss may include the replacement of cyclone-damaged stock or inventory or asset loss which may include the repair of cyclone-related damage to business premises through commercial banks like the Fiji Development Bank and licensed credit institutions.

The term of loan under this facility was a minimum of six months with the possibility of extension up to five years.

RBF deputy governor Inia Naiyaga said a number of businesses affected by previous floods had benefited directly from the facility with $14.5m advanced to them through approved lending institutions.

"The increased funding allocation under the facility reflects RBF's commitment to assist businesses in rebuilding their operations after the impact of TC Evan," he said.

"Reducing the maximum interest rate to 5 per cent is in line with the trend in domestic interest rates and the objective of the facility to provide loans at a concession rate."

It was revealed that the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) board approved the changes following a meeting at the end of last month.

The NDRF became effective immediately and was open until September 30, this year.





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