The Regional Development Bank (RDB) is an amalgamation of the Provincial Banks of Ruhuna, Rajarata, Kandurata, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Wayamba under the Pradeshiya Sanwardhana Bank Act No. 41 of 2008 as a fully State-owned national level development bank in 2010. Since then, the bank has established 268 branches around the island and is “deeply committed to serve the people through the district and provincial branches”.
One of the main priorities of the bank is to empower entrepreneurs in the micro, small, and medium sectors and to this category, the bank offers a number of loan schemes with attractive and competitive interest rates, such as Saubhagya, SEPI, Kapruka Ayojana, Kapruka Jayaisura, SMELoC and Swashakthi.
RDB Assistant General Manager (Micro Finance and Special Project) K. Ariyathilaka spoke about the performance of the bank’s loan schemes in the past year, and its plans in terms of new loan schemes. Ariyathilaka revealed that as of 31 December 2017, the bank had disbursed around Rs. 70 billion to the micro and SME sector which is a very significant number At RDB, the majority of the customers are micro level entrepreneurs to whom the bank facilitates loans up to Rs. 500, 000 and above so that the entrepreneurs can then transcend to small and medium scales. As such the majority were given to micro level customers.
2018 will also see the bank disbursing funds to the customers through several new schemes. The bank follows two loan schemes; refinance loan schemes and interest subsidiary loan schemes introduced by the government and central bank of Sri Lanka.
The loan facilities will be granted across various fields at concessionary interest rates ranging from 3.38% to 10.12% per annum. Ran Aswenna, which has three categories; GoviNavoda – where up to Rs. 500,000 is given to farmers and farmer organisations to purchase machinery and equipment for agriculture; commercial scale agriculture and to set up factories to use new technology for post harvesting and finished products; Rivi Bala Savi – where a loan up to Rs. 350,000 is given to buy solar panels for individual houses; Jaya Isura scheme for Industries, fisheries, Agriculture and plantations, Tourism, Garments, IT and Dairy development, etc.
The Enterprise Sri Lanka offers loans up to Rs. 1 million which are offered to small-scale entrepreneurs, Known as the “Green Loan”, can be obtained by entrepreneurs who manufacture packaging, bags and other items using biodegradable materials; the second category of loans of Rs. 5 million loan is given to entrepreneurs who want to construct small-scale tourist hotels or home-stays; the third is given to install GPS-tracking cable meters in three-wheelers or for compost fertiliser projects. The loan is given to enterprises with less than five employees and a turnover of less than Rs. 10 million per annum at an interest rate of 6% per annum.
The Jaya Isura is the next phase of the Green Loan and can be obtained in two categories: the first focuses on SME projects with an annual turnover of Rs. 20 million to Rs. 250 million with employees from 5 to 50. This option allows the customer to receive up to Rs. 50 million for projects supplying goods and services to the local market while up to Rs. 100 million is given to projects supplying goods and services to foreign markets. The second category focuses on SME projects with an annual turnover of Rs. 250 million to Rs. 750 million with employees from 51 to 300. Up to Rs. 200 million is given to projects of this calibre that supply goods and services to the local markets, while up to Rs. 400 is given to projects that supply goods and services to foreign markets.
In addition to these loan schemes, RDB continues to offer the loan schemes already available at the bank including Kapruka Ayojana Credit Scheme, Kapruka Jaya Isura, SEPI, Saubhagya Loan Scheme, Swashakthi Loan Scheme, SMILE III, SMELoC, and PAMP RF. RDB is the leading state owned development bank in Sri Lanka with a focus of assisting of Micro, small and medium entrepreneurs to develop their business activities. Currently the RDB operates its business activities in all the provinces in Sri Lanka including North and East. It also serves 24 hour banking facility to the nation through the ATM’s which are connected to the Lanka Pay main switch.