Demand for small cars, homes to rise as Sri Lanka govt widens soft loan scheme

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government has decided to widen its Enterprise Sri Lanka concessionary loan scheme, under which 36 billion rupees have already been disbursed, raising demand for small cars and homes.

The finance ministry said in a statement migrant workers will get up to 10 million rupees each as housing loans and owners of three-wheeled auto-rickshaws will get up to two million rupees each under the new scheme.

“The government, on realizing the success of Enterprise Sri Lanka concessionary loan scheme, is to introduce further concessionary loan to widen the schemes enabling the stake holders to move towards next generation economic activities in their areas of activities,” it said.

Migrant workers will be given up to 10 million rupees concessionary housing loans to be repaid in 15 years with two year grace period.

Migrant workers who have registered under the Foreign Employment Bureau will have to  save a considerable amount of their remittance in a local bank and 75 percent of the interest rate will be borne by the government through the Treasury.

Concessionary loans of up to two million rupees will be given to three wheel owners to convert to a safer and comfortable mini taxi service with small cars, the ministry said.

“The government will bear 75 percent of the interest rate. The three-wheel owners, who operate their own three wheelers and who are above 35 years of age, are entitled to this concessionary loan.”

The Enterprise Sri Lanka scheme offers attractive concessionary financing to stimulate investment and expansion by entrepreneurs, SMEs and even large business.

The loan amount ranges from 50,000 rupees to750 million rupees.

The proposal made by the Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera to expand the already approved loan schemes to cover more areas was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers last week.

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The Enterprise Sri Lanka concessionary loan scheme introduced under the 2017 and 2018 budgets had been a huge success, the statement said.

The self employed, women entrepreneurs, and small and medium entrepreneurs have so far been registered for various loan schemes of up to 65 billion rupees through state and private banks, it said.

Loans worth 36 billion rupees have been disbursed to over 34,500 people.

The statement said Samaraweera has proposed to introduce another loan scheme of 10 million rupees with 75 percent interest concession to build elderly care centres to support Sri Lanka’s rapidly ageing population.

The loan schemes will be continued in 2019 as well with Cabinet approval being granted to a proposal made Samaraweera to allocate 700 million rupees to pay the interest rates to banks through which these loans will be channeled.

The Treasury has been authorized by the Cabinet to enter into agreements with state and private banks to extend the loan scheme in this year too.
(Colombo/January 28/2019)
 

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