President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has on Tuesday, ratified the First Amendment bill to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Act (Act no: 6/2013). The Amendment bill was passed by the Parliament on Thursday, 08 July 2021, at the 21st sitting of the second session of the People’s Majlis. The amendment includes the revised criteria for categorizing small and medium enterprises.

The amendment mandates the establishment of a 100 per cent government owned entity hereinafter referred to as ‘Business Centre Corporation’ (BCC). The BCC would monitor and oversee that the policies and programmes conducted under the Act fulfils the intention and extent of the law in creating a suitable environment for small and medium businesses to prosper.

Furthermore, the amendment stipulates that the BCC must re-establish service hubs assisting SMEs to function and to establish additional service hubs across the country within 3 months of the amendment coming into force. The amendment nullifies chapter 8 (chapter on employees) and adds more context to other sections of the SME Act.

Upon ratification, the bill has been published in the Government Gazette and has now come into effect. It also mandates the publishing of revised regulations to reflect the changes brought with this amendment bill within 3 months of the bill coming into force.