On 15th of November 2017, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) issued a Prakas to reduce withholding tax on interest from local microfinance institutions (MFIs) from 14 percent to 10 percent. The new Prakas aims at shrinking the expendable interest rates that MFIs take on loans from abroad to ensure the sustainability of microfinance sector. Also, the withholding tax rate reduction applies only on loans acquired abroad. It is known that the remaining 4 percent will be paid by the government.
Experts said that “This Prakas is clearly intended to provide benefits to the people by reducing the cost of microfinance loans and MFIs on which these savings will be passed on to clients to be ensured.” This reflects the fact that the government has understood the MFIs’ Operations burden and the timeline for the reduction which will finish by the end of 2018, another expert said. He added that this period of time will give the MEF enough room to amend the fiscal policy, especially if a new government is formed after next year’s election.
Source: The Phnom Penh Post, 15 November 2017