HUNDRED LOAN SCHEMES FOR SMEs

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the heads of state banks. Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Lakshman Kiriella, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Public Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavithrana and Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy were present. (Picture by President’s Media Division).

President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the Finance Ministry, the Central Bank and to heads of state banks to implement a comprehensive programme of 100 types of joint loan schemes, within the next few months.

This is to provide assistance for local small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and businessmen to uplift their businesses. The President gave these instructions during a meeting held with the heads of state banks at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday.

The objective of this programme 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 Finance Ministry 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 flows to the public. President Sirisena further said that it is very important in the economic processes of the country 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 the President pointed out that one of the main issues that many entrepreneurs face are the 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 loan for entrepreneurs without any inconvenience.

President Sirisena advised the bank chiefs to implement special programmes 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 programmes.

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

President Sirisena pondered on the fact that since Sri Lankan banks were victims of commercialisation and it 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 dusbursed for local small scale and medium scale entrepreneurs by the Central Bank, the People’s Bank, State Mortgage and Investment Bank, including state banks under the Finance Ministry and stressed the importance of considering the proposals made by entrepreneurs in implementing such loan schemes.

 

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