Beijing has increased the amount the government can loan to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), the South China Morning Post reported. The Ministry of Finance on Tuesday posted a notice on its website announcing it had raised the ceiling on direct government aid to qualified SMEs to US$440,463 (RMB3 million) from US$293,642. The treasury also doubled the amount of interest loans allowed for each qualified borrower, to US$440,463. The mainland had 4.3 million registered SMEs at the end of 2007, and they contributed up to 60% of the country’s domestic output. The sector has suffered this year due to a tightened monetary policy and rising costs. More than 67,000 SMEs failed in the first half of the year, affecting an estimated 20 million jobs, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.