SMEs to get 100 loan schemes

Friday, 2 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • NEC issues instructions to 
  • Fin. Min., CB and State Banks
  • President seeks update in two weeks, wants broad awareness campaign 
  • Scheme to target unemployed graduates to become entrepreneurs  

President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and the Heads of State Banks to implement a comprehensive program of 100 types of joint loan schemes, within the next few months, to provide assistance for local small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and businessmen to uplift their businesses.  

The National Economic Council (NEC) has presented a program of 100 types of loan schemes for economic revival of the country.  The President gave these instructions during a meeting held with the Heads of State Banks at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday, the President’s Office said in a statement. 

The objective of this program is to encourage local small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and businessmen to induce a new revival in the field of local industry. The President also instructed the Ministry of Finance to provide a report to him within the next two weeks regarding this task, which is to be implemented within the next few months.

The President stressed the importance of paying attention to the proportion of the profits earned by State Banks that flows to the public. President Sirisena further said that it is very important in the economic processes of the country that the relevant benefits flow towards the general public as well as to the entrepreneurs. 

The President also highlighted the need for a broader publicity campaign to educate the public on these loan schemes, and pointed out that one of the main issues many entrepreneurs face are issues related to the terms and conditions and documents required of guarantors when obtaining loans. He also stressed the importance of creating an environment to grant loans for entrepreneurs without any inconvenience.

President Sirisena advised the bank chiefs to implement special programs targeting unemployed graduates to develop them as entrepreneurs. He said that while providing these benefits to people, it should be done without any political intervention, and advised the officials to take assistance from the village officers while implementing these programs.

State Banks should be public-friendly and courteous with the people who look forward to obtaining loans and services, the President said, and advised the chairpersons of State Banks to instruct office-bearers to provide a healthy service to the public.

President Sirisena pondered on the fact that Sri Lankan banks were victims of commercialisation, which has adversely affected identifying social problems and giving loans for the development of the country in a positive manner.  He inquired about the loan schemes which are currently conducted for local small-scale and medium-scale entrepreneurs by Central Bank, People’s Bank, State Mortgage and Investment Bank, including State Banks under Ministry of Finance, and stressed the importance of considering the proposals made by entrepreneurs in implementing such loan schemes.

Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Lakshman Kiriella, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, Public Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, National Economic Council Secretary General and Chief Economist Prof. Lalith Samarakoon, and other members, including Chairpersons of State Banks, directors and officers were present in this event.