Rubber is one of the three main export crops in our country. At present, Sri Lanka produces 150,000 metric tons of rubber per month. The income received from export of rubber in 2010 was Rs. 83,224 million (US$ 736 million).
Observations since 2004 have revealed that the income we get from producing rubber has continuously been increasing. It is from the rubber produced by the small rubber estate owners that we earn 65% of the foreign exchange earned from rubber products.
Thurusaviya Fund is a legal institution established under Act No. 23 of 2000 by Parliament with a view to uplifting the small rubber estate owners scattered at rural level. It is implemented through the combination of organisations set up by mobilising the small rubber estate owners scattered at rural level.
The first-ever loan scheme introduced to the small rubber estate owners by the Thurusaviya Fund and the Bank of Ceylon has been named the ‘Thurusaviya Loan Scheme’. It is with great pleasure that the Bank of Ceylon introduces this loan scheme for small rubber estate owners.
The credit of this new scheme must go to the Minister for Plantation Industries and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe and Bank of Ceylon Chairman Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe.
Mention should also be made of the assistance extended by the corporate management of the Bank of Ceylon and the assistance received from the management of Thurusaviya, including the Thurusaviya Chairman S.P. Hidellaarachchi and H.A.S. Kumari Wimalasooriya in preparing this loan scheme according to the instructions within a short period of time.
Some special features of this loan scheme are as follows:
Financial facilities will only be considered for the small rubber estate owners who get the recommendation of the Thurusaviya Fund for the following purposes:
- Annual rate of interest is 16%
- maximum amount of loan – Rs.300,000
- for other income earnings of the small rubber estate owners
- for smoke houses
- for new rubber planting
- for replanting
- for inter crop plantations
- minimum amount of loan – Rs.25,000
- maximum period for repayment according to the necessity and including a grace period of six months is 36 months.
- Loans will be considered under simple securities
This scheme is implemented within the 10 districts of Kalutara, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Monaragala, Galle Matara, Hambantota, Colombo, Gampola, and Ampara.
This loan scheme will be coordinated by the Chairman of the Thurusaviya Fund, the staff members of the head office and the Development Banking Division of the Bank of Ceylon.