Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

The government has announced new COVID-19 economic relief packages amounting to B$250 million which include the deferment of loan repayments across all sectors of industry within the sultanate’s private sphere.

This was announced by the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Second Minister of Finance and Economy (MoFE), Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah during a press conference on Monday.

He added that this new measure, when combined with the previously announced fiscal assistance such as the deferment of the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) and the Supplemental Contributory Pensions (SCP) for MSMEs, increases the value of the COVID-19 economic relief packages to B$450 million.

“These packages apply to all business sectors in the country including the self-employed, whereby with this assistance, it is expected to help ease the financial burdens on businesses and individuals (affected by the COVID-19 outbreak),” he said.

Customers queueing to enter the bank. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The minister proceeded to outline five packages and they are as follows;

  • To defer the repayment of loan or financing principal amount to all business sectors.
  • To restructure and defer the repayment of principal amount on personal loans and hire purchase facilities such as car loans for a period of not more than 10 years.
  • To provide deferment of principal repayment of loans or financing for real estate.
  • To restructure oustanding credit card balances into a loan for a period of no longer than three (3) years only. This is limited to affected individuals in the private sector including the self-employed. This measure however will not increase the credit card limit during the three-year period.
  • All bank fees and charges, except for third party charges, will not apply.

According to YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin, the deferral will be effective from the date of approval of the application until March 31, 2021.

He added that businesses can re-apply for the deferment and restructuring measures mentioned above to their respective banks or financial institutions from April 1 to December 30 of this year.

“I must emphasise that the application is subject to the scrutiny of your respective bank or financial institution,” he added.

YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin went on to encourage financial institutions across the nation to support businesses and individuals that have been badly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and to ease them of their financial burden during these difficult times.

“Again, AMBD would like to assure that the banking sector in Brunei Darussalam remains resilient and stable, with sufficient capital funds. At the same time, AMBD along with the financial institutions will continue to monitor the development of this situation,” he said.

For more details the public can contact AMBD at 2388388 or through email at info@ambd.gov.bn.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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