ECONOMYNEXT - Subsidized credit made available under an 'Enterprise Sri Lanka' branded scheme to develop entrepreneurial culture is only intended for new businesses and banks should not extend loans to old customers, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
Some banks were attempting to give loans to existing customers, and they were instructed not to do so, he told reporters.
"We have had reports that some banks were talking in ways that discouraged new customers from taking loans," he said. "
"We have also had reports that some banks were trying to give them to old customers since the rates were very attractive.
"We will establish a toll-free hotline. People can call 2025 for inquiries and complaints."
The finance ministry will also require period reports of loan recipients who had benefitted from the scheme, he said.
The intention was to build 100,000 new entrepreneurs, he said.
Enterprise development workshops at an Enterprise Sri Lanka exhibition held in Moneragala in Sri Lanka's Uva promise had been very popular, among young persons, he said.
"They learned about, starting businesses, registration, book-keeping and preparing project reports," he said.
The Industrial Development Board and Export Development Board had helped with advice on international trade and producing several products.
"A workshop by David Peiris Motor Company to train female mechanics was extremely popular," Samaraweera said.
"In fact we could not accommodate all the applicants."
He said 5,175 persons had registered for Enterprise Sri Lanka credit at the exhibition. The Treasury subsidizes part of the interest on credits given under the scheme. (Colombo/Sept10/2018)