At a staff Co-operative and Entrepreneurial Award Ceremony held at the People’s Bank auditorium recently, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal commended People’s Bank for its contribution towards the nation’s economic development through its initiatives which have given hand to 42,000 upcoming entrepreneurs in the last year alone.
Standing by its credo that the bank always understands the pulse of the people and therefore provides its services for the betterment of the community at large, the best 24 out of all the regional entrepreneurs who were empowered by the Bank’s Development and Micro Finance Department in 2010, along with the best dedicated PB branches and the best 24 regional officers as well the best 10 co-operatives were honoured at the event.
Organised to commemorate the milestone of the 50th anniversary of PB, the Governor of the Central Bank, who was the Chief Guest for the event, stated that a revolution had taken place in the economic system of the country and the entrepreneurial programmes of the State banks had contributed highly towards it.
He also stated that the financial support and service that People’s Bank has provided towards uplifting the agricultural, livestock development, fisheries and other small and medium scale enterprises as well as self-employed personnel without restricting it to the western and southern regions is highly commendable.
“The main responsibility of the Central Bank is to create financial stability. We now try to provide our services beyond our main responsibility in line with the vision of the new Government. We need to wide spread economic activities and as such the Central Bank is providing consultancy to both the State as well as licensed commercial banks and registered finance companies to complete this mission,” he stated, adding that the priceless service People’s Bank provides in complying with the requirements of the Central Bank to spread the new vision was greatly appreciated.
The Governor went on to make special mention of the efforts of People’s Bank to facilitate regional development through its ‘Saubagya,’ ‘Viskam,’ the Environmentally Friendly Solutions Cycle Fund and self employment loan schemes, etc.
“People’s Bank has done an immense service to develop an entrepreneurial ability in the country through quickly dispensing loans at lower interest rates with easy collateral schemes for the past five decades,” he added.
The bank has implemented these entrepreneurial loan schemes in order on diversify agro businesses, add value to agro production, improve the production and productivity, improve quality and improve market opportunities of the farmers.
As such, these initiatives have resulted in uplifting national production, improving the gross domestic production through improving the per capita income, developing employment opportunities, avoiding discrepancies of price wars and black market dealings, connecting the public with the financial system of the country, increasing the tendency for saving and educating the public about financial management, improving the customer base of the bank, empowering women, utilising the underutilised economical resources, improving commercial agriculture, earning foreign currency and especially facilitating national policies and fulfilling social responsibilities.
Chairman of People’s Bank W. Karunajeewa, addressing the entrepreneurs who achieved success through the helping hand of the bank, stated that People’s Bank was initially established with the support of the Co-operative Movement and today has achieved high levels of success for the people in the country.
“We have been hand-in-hand with the people of this country who have worked hard to make their dreams come true. We, as a reputed State bank, will always be responsible for the wellbeing and upliftment of living standards of the public of this country,” he said.
He expressed appreciated for the efforts of the co-operative officers, entrepreneurs and the staff of the bank who worked hard to make the event a success.
The key fact that was addressed by CEO/ Acting General Manager N. Wasantha Kumar was that People’s Bank as a State bank was fully responsible for facilitating the special Government initiative of raising the per capita income to US$ 4,000 in 2016. In his speech he further went on to request the gathering to generate more focus on development and micro finance loan sectors and thereby improve the performance of the industry as a whole.
“Today is an extremely happy day for us as the efforts of our staff members, entrepreneurs and the best co-operatives are being appreciated,” stated Deputy General Manager of the Development and Micro Finance Department of the Bank, Ariyapala, who took leadership in all these initiatives.
The occasion was also graced by the members of the Board of Directors of People’s Bank, the Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Trade Affairs, Co-Operative Commissioner and Chairperson of the Agriculture and Agrarian Insurance Board Ariyadasa, along with the management and staff of People’s Bank and all union representatives. Entertainment for the event was provided by the art circle members of the bank.