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Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development

COVID-19 SUPPORT

                                     COVID-19 SUPPORT
    A.            Wage/ Salary Support
 
·         COVID-19 Wage Assistance During Confinement/ Curfew Period
Enterprises will be entitled to receive an amount equivalent to the 15 days’ basic wage bill for all of its employees drawing a monthly basic wage of up to Rs 50,000 subject to a cap of Rs 12,500 per employee.
Process
o   Employers may submit their application online. The application form is available on the website of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA).
For any information or assistance under this Scheme, the MRA may be reached by email to headoffice@mra.mu or mobile numbers 5941 2782 or 59412783.
 
     B.            Financial Support
 
         (i)         Bank of Mauritius Special Relief Programme (Banking)
·         Special Relief Amount of Rs 5 Billion
The Bank of Mauritius is introducing a Special Relief Amount of Rs 5 billion through commercial banks to meet cash flow and working capital requirements of economic operators which are being directly impacted by COVID-19. This Special Relief Amount will be made available, through commercial banks.
The interest rate is 2.5% per annum and there will be a moratorium of six months on capital and interest repayments, with the loan repayment period being two years.
·         Reduction of Cash Reserve Ratio
The Cash Reserve Ratio applicable to commercial banks has been reduced from 9% to 8%. It aims at supporting commercial banks to further assist businesses which are being directly impacted by COVID-19. 
·         Easing of Banking Guidelines
The Bank of Mauritius has put on hold the Guideline on Credit Impairment Measurement and Income Recognition, which was effective since January 2020. This measure will allow commercial banks to continue supporting enterprises facing cash flow and working capital difficulties in the context of COVID-19.
·         2020 Savings Bond
The Bank of Mauritius is introducing a 2.5% Two-Year Bank of Mauritius 2020 Savings Bond for an amount of Rs 5 billion from 23rd of March 2020
Process
·        Enterprises may have access to those support through their Commercial Banks
Any clarification or additional information may be addressed to the Bank of Mauritius on communications@bom.mu
        (ii)        Other Financial Support 
State Investment Corporation
·         Equity Participation Scheme
The State Investment Corporation (SIC) Ltd has launched an Equity Participation Scheme to assist enterprises with annual turnover exceeding Rs 250 million to overcome their financial difficulties in the wake of COVID-19.
Investment Support Programme Limited (ISP)
·         SME Factoring Scheme
Enterprises with annual turnover of up to Rs 50 million will benefit from a reduced interest rate of from 2.5% instead of 3.9% under SME Factoring Scheme.
·         Leasing Equipment Modernisation Scheme (LEMS I, II, III)
Enterprises with annual turnover ranging between Rs 50 million and Rs 1.5 billion will benefit from a reduced interest rate ranging between 2.5% and 3.35% per annum. 
·         Corporate Guarantees to banks
ISP Ltd will issue corporate guarantee to banks to enable them to grant loans to companies affected by COVID-19, on a case to case basis.
 
SME Equity Fund Ltd
·         Equity Financing
The SME Equity Fund Ltd will reduce its minimum return dividend rate requirement on equity /quasi-equity financing from 6% to 3% up to 31 December 2020. Thereafter, normal conditions and dividend rate of 6% will be applicable.
Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd
·         Enterprise Modernisation Scheme (EMS)
Enterprises with annual turnover of up to Rs 10 million will benefit from a reduced interest rate 2.5% instead of 3.5% up to 31st December 2020 and a grant of 15% up to a maximum of Rs 150,000.
·         Revolving Credit Fund
A Revolving Credit Fund of Rs 200 million has been established at the Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd to help companies with turnover of up to Rs 10 million to ease cash flow difficulties up to Rs 1 million with repayment over 2 years. Interest will not be payable if loan is repaid within 9 months. Otherwise, interest will be at a rate of 6% per annum.
Process
·     The COVID-19 ‘Plan de Soutien’ Cell has been set up and comprises the State Investment Corporation Limited (SIC), Investment Support Programme Limited (ISP), SME Equity Fund Ltd (SEF) and Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd (DBM).
·        All applications to be submitted to -
COVID-19 ‘Plan de Soutien’ Cell
Ground Floor of DBM Building,
Chaussée Street,
Port Louis.
Fax: 208 8309
·        Hotline: 260 9200
 
       (iii)       Additional Support Households and Businesses
·        Support to Households
Mauritian households impacted by COVID-19 may request their commercial banks for a moratorium of 6 months on capital repayments on their existing household loans as from the 1st April 2020.
In addition, for households earning a combined monthly basic salary of up to Rs 50,000 the Bank of Mauritius will bear the interest payable for the period 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020 on their outstanding household loans with commercial banks.
The terms and conditions will be made available through commercial banks as from Monday 30th March 2020.
·        Special Foreign Currency (USD) Line of Credit
The Bank of Mauritius is introducing a Special Foreign Currency (USD) Line of Credit targeting operators having foreign currency earnings, including SMEs.
This line of credit shall be for an amount of USD 300 million, to be made available through commercial banks. Funds will be made available to commercial banks at 6-month USD Libor for this facility.
This line of credit will be available from the 24th March 2020 until the 30th June 2020 and repayment will be over a period of 2 years from the effective date of disbursement.
·        Swap Arrangement to Support Import oriented Businesses
The Bank of Mauritius is introducing a USD/MUR swap arrangement with commercial banks for an initial amount of USD 100 million.
This arrangement will enable commercial banks to support import-oriented businesses, except for the State Trading Corporation which will be dealing directly with the Bank of Mauritius for its foreign currency requirements until further notice.
The swap arrangement will be effective as from the 24thMarch 2020 until the 30thJune 2020.
Process
·        Enterprises may have access to those support through their Commercial Banks
Any clarification or additional information may be addressed to the Bank of Mauritius on communications@bom.mu