Summary of business support measures announced by the Mauritian Government in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, as at 20 April 2020.
In light of the global COVID-19 outbreak, a series of support measures have been introduced by our government to help businesses and protect employment.
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).
We invite all members to closely review all the support measures that have been announced as at 20th of April 2020, in order to best understand them, their application and benefits, should they benefit to your businesses.
A. Wage/ Salary Support for March 2020
Applicable to March 2020 salaries
Enterprises entitled to receive an amount equivalent to the 15 days’ basic wage bill for all employees drawing a monthly basic wage of up to Rs 50,000 subject to a cap of Rs 12,500 per employee.
|For every employee with basic salary in March 2020||Basis||Assistance per employee (Rs)|
|From 9,700 to Rs 25,000||15-days wages||From Rs 4,850 to Rs 12,500|
|From Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000||Fixed Amount||Rs 12,500|
|Above Rs 50,000||Nil||Nil|
Assistance paid AFTER salary effected.
Exceptionally, where a business is unable to effect payment of salary for the current month due to cash flow problem, it may apply to the MRA for assistance under the scheme so that the salaries may be paid in a timely manner.
Applicable to April 2020 salaries
Since the COVID-19 lockdown period has been extended up to 04 May 2020, the Government has decided to extend the Wage Assistance Scheme for the month of April 2020.
A. Financial Support
1. Bank of Mauritius Special Relief Programme
Special Relief Amount of Rs 5 Billion to meet cash flow and working capital requirements of economic operators which are being directly impacted by COVID-19.
2. Reduction of Cash Reserve Ratio
The Cash Reserve Ratio applicable to commercial banks has been reduced from 9% to 8%.
3. 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.
4. 2020 Savings Bond
2.5% Two-Year Bank of Mauritius 2020 Savings Bond for an amount of Rs 5 billion from 23rd of March 2020
5. Special Foreign Currency (USD) Line of Credit
6. Swap Arrangement to Support Import Oriented Businesses
USD/MUR swap arrangement with commercial banks for an initial amount of USD 100 million.
7. State Investment Corporation Equity Participation Scheme
Assist enterprises with annual turnover exceeding Rs 250 million
8. Investment Support Programme Limited (ISP)
Enterprises with annual turnover of up to Rs 50 million
– reduced interest rate of from 2.5% instead of 3.9%
Enterprises with annual turnover ranging between Rs 50 million and Rs 1.5 billion
– reduced interest rate ranging between 2.5% and 3.35% per annum.
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.
9. SME Equity Fund Ltd
Reduced 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.
10. Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd
Enterprises with annual turnover of up to Rs 10 million
– reduced interest rate 2.5% instead of 3.5% up to 31stDecember 2020 and
– a grant of 15% up to a maximum of Rs 150,000.
A Revolving Credit Fund of Rs 200 million:
– 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.
C. Support to Households
Mauritian households 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.
D. Other important Communique related to COVID-19