State banks lose Rs. 80m on gold interest waivers 

Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama –

Our Lobby Correspondent

State banks have incurred a loss of Rs.80 million by waiving the interest and the penalties for pawned gold items up to a value of Rs.200,000/= in 2015.

 These losses were incurred by People’s Bank and the National Savings Bank mainly as a result of the pledge given under number 26 in the program titled “Compassionate governance - A new country in 100 days” by the presidential candidate of the 2015 Presidential Election Maithripala Sirisena. He pledged relief will be provided on the interest and penalties payable on pawned gold items up to a value of Rs.200,000/-.

 However, Bank of Ceylon (BoC), Housing Development Finance Company (HDFC), Sri Lanka Savings Bank, Lanka Puthra Development Bank, State Mortgage & Investment Bank, Regional Development Bank have not incurred losses according to Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne.

 “Based on the prudent action taken as per the circular, the HDFC and the BOC haven’t made a loss. I believe the banks should follow the circulars. If the circulars are followed the customers should have received benefits. If the BoC and the HDFC has skipped following the circular, I will make sure that they will follow it,” explained Deputy Minister in response to a question for oral answer raised by UPFA MP Jayantha Samaraweera.