Kupang (ANTARA) - The number of Ultra Micro (UMi) credit recipients in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has increased by 18,025 to reach 40,324 as of January 2023, according to the Ministry of Finance (Kemenkeu).

"During 2022, the number of UMi debtors in NTT increased by 18,025 debtors with increased disbursement value of Rp81,04 billion," head of the NTT Regional Office of the Directorate of General Treasury (DJPb) of the ministry, Catur Ariyanto Widodo, said in a statement received in Kupang on Saturday.

This is related to the development of ultra-micro (UMi) credit facilities to support community businesses in NTT until early 2023, he added.

Widodo said that the distribution of UMi in NTT has continued to increase over the past six years.

The total value of credit disbursed, he said, has reached Rp160 billion. The largest UMi distributor has been PT Permodalan Nasional Madani (PNM), which has disbursed Rp141.14 billion.

"Although it continues to increase, the distribution value needs to be increased because (the value in) NTT is still lower than other provinces," he said.

Furthermore, UMi's lending in NTT has also faced several challenges, such as the accessibility of UMi financing, which has not optimally reached businesses, he noted.

This has also been due to the limited number of distribution institutions. Since 2017, only three non-bank financial institutions (LKBB) have consistently provided UMi financing, he said.

Another challenge, he said, has been the low level of financial literacy of UMi debtors, so there is a need for providing guidance to debtors to increase financial inclusion.

To increase future distribution, East Nusa Tenggara’s DJPb Regional Office is working with the Government Investment Center Public Service Agency (PIP) to add more distribution institutions from cooperatives, Widodo informed.

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Translator: Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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