Gandaki Province Chief Minister Krishna Chandra Nepali has reaffirmed his commitment to give continuity to efforts to salvage businesses affected in the province through Life Saving Fund.

At a discussion with representatives of the Nepal Rastra Bank, Pokhara office director and other financial institutions in Pokhara today, CM Nepali said the provincial government's programmes and policies for the new fiscal 2021-22 had already incorporated programme to give continuity to the fund.

Stating that financial stimulus was introduced for small and medium scale businesses affected by COVID-19, CM Nepali said the fund would continue for three more years. He also instructed the banks and financial institutions to consider changes in the procedure for the small and medium scale businesses to procure loan in a hassle-free manner.

Nepal Rastra Bank's officiating secretary Ramchandra Dhakal remarked the programme related to the fund would be very effective since the BFIs' contribution to the fund would be around Rs eight billion as against the province government's contribution of Rs one billion. Likewise, Nepal Rastra Bank's Pokhara branch office Director Ishwori Prasad Bhattarai said initially there were some difficulties in implementing this programme, but now the programme had been running effectively.

A total of 6,778 applications were submitted by entrepreneurs demanding Rs 7.6 billion for which approval has been secured for Rs 4.5 billion, he said. The provincial government introduced the Life Saving Fund to offset the effect of COVID-19 on the sectors of tourism, transportation, agriculture and other services.

The BFIs here have been providing loans to entrepreneurs from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 million under four different headings.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 30 2021, of The Himalayan Times.