§ 49. Mr Harry Ewing
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on his intentions regarding future arrangements for carrying the exchange risk on loans granted to United Kingdom companies by the European Investment Bank.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The Government have completed their review of the scheme and have decided that it should continue for a further two years to 31 December 1981 subject to a ceiling on new borrowing of £200 million. Loans already in the pipeline but not yet advanced will not be counted against this ceiling. Of the £200 million, at least £60 million will be set aside for loans to smaller firms. The scheme is now being328W extended to cover all manufacturing projects in the assisted areas which meet the tighter criteria for regional selective assistance announced in July by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. Premium rates will be 1 per cent. per annum in special development areas and 2 per cent. in development and intermediate areas.