Thursday, 21 September 2023 06:30 GMT

Oman- Al Raffd Fund disburses over RO34mn as loans in 2014

(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Al Raffd Fund has disbursed more than 1000 loans totalling over RO34mn in 2014 officials said at a press conference on Wednesday.

They were presenting a review of the fund's work for 2014.

The fund had reserves of RO70mn according to Tariq al Farsi its CEO. "That leaves RO36mn in the fund. However the fund also receives ten per cent (RO7mn) of the total money from the government annually."

Farsi said that around half of the loans awarded are worth the maximum RO100000 amount. "Debtors have between 12 and 15 months to start repaying the loan depending on its type."

Farsi said the programme last year was a success as only two debtors are facing challenges in repayment.

He said entrepreneurs could do more on their part to make the loan scheme successful by managing themselves better. "The fund is working properly. But it depends on the entrepreneurs. They need to think right; they need to plan right."

He said that every project is monitored by the fund officials once a quarter through field visits.

Talking about the future Farsi said that the fund is planning to focus more on applicants from the tourism sector manufacturing industry and students.

He said that the fund is also considering quotas on overall distribution of loans per sector to better organise the market. "It's in the mind of the have a cap for sectors because we don't want to finance randomly or massively. It would be just chaos."

Farsi suggested that there is a need to modify the SME framework in Oman. The 2013 Saih al Shamekhat SME symposium had set the parameters of the SME sector in Oman through 14 outcomes or 'decisions'.

"Two years later the system needs reform to increase its effectiveness. Maybe we need to reconsider some of the decisions modify some of them and maybe add new ones. I think the government fully supports SMEs no doubt. But if there's any target that's not been achieved that's another story."

He said all these issues would be discussed at the SME symposium at Sultan Qaboos University from January 26 to 28.

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