Dechen Dolkar  

De-suups, who attended De-suung Skilling Programme (DSP), can avail start-up loans from the Bank of Bhutan (BoB) without collateral requirements.

This, officials said, would ease access to finance for the de-suups to start their own businesses in the area of service, production and manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors.

Launched on May 11, the financial service will be provided if another de-suup eligible for the start-up loan stands as a guarantee.   BoB’s chief executive officer, Dorji Kadin, said access to finance has been the biggest impediment because of collateral requirements. “But this DSP start-up loan does not require collateral and it will enable any eligible and interested de-suup to start a business.”

He said the scheme is to support young and budding entrepreneurs to pursue business opportunities and also create employment opportunities to address the problems of youth unemployment and strengthen the economy.

The DSP start-up loan has been approved and classified under priority sector lending (PSL).

The interest rate for the loan is eight percent and the loan ceiling is Nu 500,000 for an individual, Nu 1 million (M) for partnership and a maximum of Nu 5M for five or more de-suups working together. For cooperatives, it is Nu 5M.

The loan tenure will depend on the nature of the loan, but the maximum tenure will be 20 years. For gadget loans, the tenure is for five years.

During the launch, three de-suups signed loan agreements for the purchase of computers.

“I am eternally grateful to His Majesty for granting me the opportunity to get trained in digital marketing and learning skills to support myself,” de-suup Karma Norzin said.

She also said that she is relieved that BoB has come up with this loan scheme and she can now buy a good laptop and start earning some income.

Meanwhile, there are four requirements to be eligible to avail the loan, which mandate the de-suup to have successfully completed a DSP training programme and the DSP financial literacy training programme. He or she should have a clean credit record and also obtain a letter of recommendation from the De-suung office.

The BoB’s credit department director, Prem Makthun, said that loans will be provided as amortising, which will be term loans for capital investment finance and non-amortizing which will be working capital for operating of a business.

BoB’s chairman, Karma Yonten, said BoB launched the DSP start-up loan to support the skilled de-suups, who have been trained under the visionary DSP that has been initiated on Royal Command of His Majesty as a mark of deep appreciation for the exceptional services rendered by de-suups during the pandemic.