KATHMANDU: The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) today directed the banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to provide loans to business sectors hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The central bank also issued a directive to the 'A', 'B', 'C', and 'D' class BFIs to release loans as per the procedures approved by the Council of Ministers on November 12. According to the Executive Director of NRB, the BFIs are asked to invest maximum Rs 70 million under the recovery scheme in the affected areas. Likewise, the BFIs are directed to provide amount equal to annual wages of the partially affected sectors and 50 per cent additional in the annual wages or maximum Rs 50 million. The national-level banks can invest only up to 10 per cent of their primary capital under this scheme of loan, according to NRB. Of the total loan investment, 30 per cent of the amount should be invested in cottage, small and medium enterprises.