Central Bank to disburse Rs. 175 bn to revive businesses
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has approved to disburse loans over Rs.175 billion under three phases of the Saubhagya Covid-19 Punaruda Naya Yojana Kramaya exceeding the estimated amount of Rs.150 billion.
The Central Bank’s Regional Development Department’s Director General M.S.K.Dharmawardena said that although it was estimated to grant a loan of Rs. 150 billion, the banking system is ready to provide more loans that are expected to revive businesses that were disrupted by the Covid-19 epidemic.
Accordingly, Rs.112 billion has been granted to entrepreneurs so far, he added.
Dharmawardena said they had approved loan applications until September 30 as a support to revive businesses that have been crippled by 4% of the working capital loans.
The Monetary Board of the Central Bank had initially planned to grant Rs. 50 billion in loans and later increased it to Rs. 150 billion. However, Rs.175 billion has been approved so far.”
“The loans will help businesses to make statutory payments, including payroll, EPF and ETF, water bills, electricity bills and rent for buildings. We hope that this will be a relief to businessmen who were severely affected during the March and April period,” he added.
This loan scheme is planned to be granted by 29 selected specialized Government and Private sector licensed commercial banks in the country. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa are aiming to revitalise micro, small and medium enterprises in a number of sectors that cover key economic processes such as agriculture, industry and services. Accordingly, these loans have been provided to benefit those engaged in a number of sectors including agriculture related industries, animal husbandry, fisheries, small and medium enterprises, tourism, transport, garments, construction, rubber related products, communications, information technology, he said.
The loan repayment period is 24 months. Dharmawardena highlighted that the special feature of this loan facility is that it provides the facility to repay the loan after a grace period six months from the date of obtaining the loan.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has provided relief to customers in the form of refinancing loan schemes, interest subsidy and collateral loan schemes to empower businesses.