CB-backed working capital support for COVID-hit biz reaches Rs. 72 billion

Saturday, 25 July 2020 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • 26,291 loans amounting to Rs. 72 b approved under Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility 
  • Rs. 45.7 b disbursed already among 18,007 borrowers 
  • In last fortnight, 3,985 new loans worth Rs. 11.8 b approved 
  • COVID-hit businesses, individuals can submit loan applications to banks until 31 August

The Central Bank is ratcheting up the rolling out of the Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility, expanding its approvals in the last two weeks by 3,985 new loans amounting to Rs.11.8 billion and taking the total value of approved loans to Rs.72 billion. 

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) approved 3,985 new loan applications, amounting to Rs. 11,829 million, submitted by licensed banks under the Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility Phase II and III during the period 13-23 July 2020, the Central Bank said in a statement yesterday. 

This is higher than the Rs. 7 billion in approvals given in the second week of July for 2,066 new loans. The facility has been rolled out since the beginning of July, and by 10 July the total amount of disbursements had reached 22,306 loans, amounting to Rs. 60.25 billion, under the Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility.

“With the new approvals mentioned above, the cumulative number of loan applications so far approved by the CBSL under the Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility increased to 26,291 as of 23 July,” the Central Bank added.  

Similarly, the total value of loans approved by the CBSL increased to Rs. 72,079 million as of 23 July 2020. The licensed banks had already disbursed Rs. 45,777 million among 18,007 borrowers island-wide as of 23 July 2020.

The CBSL, in consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka, has introduced this facility in three phases, to provide a total of Rs. 150 billion as working capital loans at 4% per annum interest rate with a repayment period of 24 months, including a grace period of 6 months, to businesses, including self-employment and individuals, adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under Phase 1 of the loan scheme, the CBSL provides refinancing facility to the participating financial institutions (PFIs). Under Phase II of the loan scheme, the CBSL provides loans to PFIs at 1 % interest rate against collaterals approved by the Monetary Board. 

Under Phase III of the loan scheme, PFIs are expected to use their own funds to grant loans to the businesses and/or individuals, with the CBSL providing credit guarantee ranging 50%-80% on loans so granted and a 5% per annum interest subsidy for PFIs to cover their credit risk and cost of funds.

COVID-19 affected businesses and individuals can submit their loan applications under the above Loan Scheme to respective banks before 31 August 2020.