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COMBank reaches Rs. 10 b in SME lending under ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’

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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has received registrations for  a whopping Rs. 10 billion in loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under theGovernment’s ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ initiative launched in June this yearto stimulate the national economy.

In a statement Commercial Banks said concessionary interest loans were disbursed under four designated schemes: ‘Jaya Isura’ for SMEs; ‘Ran Aswenna’ for farmers and those in the agro-processing industry; ‘Govi Navoda’ for entrepreneurs involved in farm mechanisation; and ‘Rivi Bala Savi’ for domestic users to install solar panel units. Notably, Commercial Bank leads all lending banks under the ‘Jaya Isura’ loan scheme, having processed a record 300 Jaya Isura loans by mid-August. In total, the Bank has processed over 400 interest-subsidisedloans under the four different categories, amounting to a cumulative total of Rs. 10billion. “Since its inception, Commercial Bank has been committed to supporting SMEs and the national economy, and its contribution has grown progressively as the Bank’s operations expanded,” the Bank’s Managing Director S. Renganathan said. 

“Today, Commercial Bank has a significant impact on the Sri Lankan economy in terms of its assets, market capitalisation, taxes paid to the Government, import and export volumes it channels, and its lending to SMEs.”

Commercial Bank of Ceylon is one of the highest lenders to the SME sector in Sri Lanka.

Under Enterprise Sri Lanka, the Jaya Isurascheme is applicable to SMEs in agriculture, fisheries, livestock, floriculture, horticulture, light engineering, printing, tourism, handicrafts, apparel, IT, renewable energy, and manufacturing industries. The first category under this scheme enables entrepreneurs to borrow between Rs. 50 million and Rs. 100 million, with a reduced interest rate of 6.75% per annum. Subsequently, category two under the scheme offers loans between Rs. 200 million and Rs. 400 million at a 10.12% interest rate per annum. 

The Ran Aswennascheme is for small-scale farmers, farmer organisations, floriculture and ornamental fish-related businesses, agro and fish processing establishments, and commercial scale farmers. Under this scheme, borrowerscan obtain loans from Rs. 5 million to Rs. 750 million, according to their respective categories, at an interest rate of 6.75% per annum. 

Govi Navoda is for small-scale farmers and farmer organisations, and offers loans of up to Rs. 500,000 with an applicable interest rate of 3.38% per annum. Rivi Bala Savi, the loan scheme facilitating the purchase of solar panels, allows households to borrow up to Rs. 350,000 at an interest rate of 6.75% per annum. 

There are 15 tailor-made local-funded and donor-funded financial and non-financial schemes under the umbrella of Enterprise Sri Lanka. The Government launched this initiative with medium term targets to achieve a per capita income of $ 5000, create one million new job opportunities, increase exports, and to achieve a continuous GDP growth rate of 5%.  

Other goals of the initiative include SME development, promotion of green energy, empowerment of the farmer community,poverty reduction, empowermentof youth, empowerment of women, and promotion of tourism.  

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