RESOLUTION SDC 332

FORUM: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

QUESTION OF: Measures to increase access of small-scale enterprises to financial services, including affordable credits following the COVID-19 crisis

SUBMITTED BY: Oman

CO-SUBMITTERS:Chile, Congo, Cameroon, Jamaica, Peru, Belgium, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, United Rep., Thailand.

STATUSPassed

THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE,

 

Acknowledging that due to the nationwide lockdowns caused by the ongoing pandemic, small-scale enterprises are struggling with economic challenges, and thus are in need of financial services and affordable credits,

 

Noting that nearly 100,000 companies that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business,

 

Reminding member states that helping small businesses contributes to the socio-economic development of local societies knowing that they are involved and play an important role in the country’s economy, 

 

Congratulating the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) for facilitating access to credits for SSEs, as well as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for setting a framework for all countries to help SSEs, particularly LEDCs and NEEs,

 

Further noting that Oman has ordered the formation of a committee that studies the pandemic’s impact, with one of its measures being to offer interest-free loans to struggling enterprises,

 

  1. Suggests the introduction of new policies targeted at SSEs, in order to effectively tackle problems caused by COVID-19, by among others:
    1. Short Term Work schemes (STW) with actions like:
      1. reducing the number of necessary workers involved in STW arrangements
      2. allowing SSEs to reduce working hours temporarily, for as long as deemed necessary
      3. compensating employees for reducing their working-shifts by cooperating with the World Bank and its sister organisations to pay a percentage of salaries for hours not worked
    2. allowing SSEs to defer payments depending on the specific sector to which the SSE belongs, the number of workers, the virus’ impact on the country’s economy, and the profits of the business, via, but not limited to:
      1. permitting the postponement of payments through the establishment of a debt moratorium
      2. the short-term deferral of corporate and income taxes, or even Value Added Tax (VAT)
      3. the exemption of social security and pension contributions targeting particular, highly-affected sectors of the economy
      4. the temporary halting of delay penalties in public contracts
      5. awarding a bonus for SSEs which pay their taxes and payments on time, to encourage these businesses to fulfil their duties on time
    3. excluding SSEs from taxes when purchasing sanitation products, bought to reinforce COVID-19 measures inside small businesses facilities, such as:
      1. hand-sanitiser
      2. face masks
      3. protective gear;
  2. Recommends reforming the following policies in order to provide sufficient aid to SSEs during the pandemic crisis by addressing the following:
    1. sick leave and temporary lay-off policies by, inter alia:
      1. adopting a self-isolation support program
      2. applying government refunds on any leave for businesses with a staff of fewer than 200 people
      3. simplifying lay-off regimes specifically for SSEs which have been seriously affected by the pandemic, as well as self-employed people
    2. loan guarantees and taking measures to support them by:
      1. encouraging central banks to lift any reserve prerequisites for banks, aiming to incentivize lending
      2. simplifying administrative procedures, wishing to facilitate access to loan guarantees by shortening the loan approval period
      3. providing opportunities to reschedule debt-related operations for the public guarantee;
  3. Encourages cooperation between SSEs and relevant organisations and conferences such as:
    1. the International Labour Organization (ILO) and its Global Jobs Pact to aid governments and enterprises in unstable economic times, like the ongoing pandemic
    2. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pursue the development of monetary policies of SSEs especially in LEDCs 
    3. the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to set a framework for all actions, helping LEDCs tackle their problems and integrate into the global economy;
  4. Calls for the support of start-ups and SSEs in this difficult path to economic prosperity following the COVID-19 outbreak with the creation of an awareness campaign aimed to foster the adoption of innovative technologies by:
    1. projecting business practices/models for instance:
      1. contactless delivery
      2. online services
      3. digital communication
      4. remote office
    2. familiarising people with the use of technology and aiding them in using it effectively
    3. promoting SSEs through the government and relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) using mass media via TV Networks or radio stations;
  5. Urges all relevant member states to promote the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the pandemic and take steps towards their achievement for the purposes of:
    1. creating decent work environments for everyone, as encapsulated in goal number 8, to encourage people to go to work with safety, by but not limited to:
      1. forming a safe environment where all pandemic protocols are being followed
      2. having flexible and healthy working shifts
      3. advancing the allowance of sick-leave to prevent the spread of the virus in case employees do not feel well
      4. setting a clear framework for both remote working, with few hours in front of electronic devices, and normal working, where permitted
    2. promoting innovation and technological progress, as part of goal number 9, to generate employment and income in order to:
      1. encourage the adoption of new technologies
      2. ease the process of international trade, particularly during the pandemic crisis
    3. ensuring the respect of human rights and equality between people, as highlighted in goal number 16, so that:
      1. SSEs have the same opportunities as large-scale enterprises, while they are able to have access to financial services in the COVID-19 period
      2. there is the necessary stability to help SSEs improve and flourish
    4. guaranteeing the cooperation of all member states to achieve the aforementioned goals abridged in goal number 17;
  6. Encourages member states to adopt initiatives and programs, aiming at the facilitation of fundraising for SSEs and the improvement of their operational efficiency, so as to effectively address issues brought up by the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through methods such as but not limited to: 
    1. the use of scoring models with the aim of: 
      1. evaluating creditworthiness
      2. checking the validity of internal rating systems
      3. aligning loan pricing with credit risk
    2. providing consulting services aimed at supporting the management of SSEs, thus reducing the credit risk for member institutions partaking in the program and strengthening their business operations;
  7. Suggests States, in accordance to their individual constitutions and policies to adopt a ‘Mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility program (CSR)’ specifically to counter the Covid-19 crisis, with the following terms and objectives: 
    1. Countries with existing CSR policies to modify legislation and countries without CSR to pass an emergency bill as part of the existing national emergency for SSE – related purposes only, as per follows in this clause
    2. Mandatory CSR for corporations registered in the country to Adopt a set number of Small Scale Enterprises (SSE) in the following manner:  
      1. The number of SSEs to based on the tax bracket the company in the following manner – considering different tax systems for different countries, a set number of SSEs should be established individually based on proportionality of the tax bracket the company is in, additionally, a final list of this proportionality and the number of companies that fall in each category to be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for inspection open to suggestions (no enforcement)  while at the same time based on calculations by the 2nd Committee of the General Assembly considering different brackets, an average system of revenue and number of SSEs will be established, for Member States to take note of while revising policy 
      2. The following procedure to follow the given timeline taking note of the effects of the economic crisis at hand, wherein participating countries are to submit their bracket by Feb 14th 2021, 2nd Committee is to release average bracket by March 1st 2021 
      3. Countries to show adoption by submitting evidence to the Secretary General by March 30th 2021 
    3. Adoption of SSEs to entail the following: 
      1. Every host corporation to provide its SSEs with the necessary financial services it requires, such as but not limited to low interest loans (with flexible reasonable extensions on time) and affordable credits
      2. Allowing the borrower to re-invest in the company 
    4. Setting up of an online platform by the General Assembly to facilitate corporations to provide evidence, including testimonials and transaction of lending made for different country’s domains, accessible by a specific government cell – countries may also set up their own data collection websites as long as it occurs before the date mentioned in b) ii)   
    5. Corporations that show proper evidence will be granted a percentage of their CSR for FY 2021-22 to be fulfilled, based on the number of SSEs they adopt and quality of services provided.