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Sri Laka’s central bank to increase refinancing limit for COVID-hit businesses

SELF IMPOSED: Information minister Bandula Gunewardene holding sheaf papers detailing HS Codes of items under self-imposed trade controls.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s central bank will increase the refinancing limit previously approved to provide working capital loans for hit pandemic-hit businesses and individuals by Rs 50 billion, a government spokesman said.

Co-cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said the limit will be increased from Rs 100 billion to Rs 150 billion to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the self-employed affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to increase the refinancing limit upon considering complaints received from various parties that they had not received relief from their banks.

The cabinet decided to provide working capital needs at a concessional rate of 4% for COVID-19-hit businesses back in March under a special plan to control the economy amidst challenges to the global economy from the pandemic, Gunawardena said.

He added that by increasing the refinancing limit to Rs 150 billion the government hopes that every business  hit by COVID-19 will benefit from the relief provided by the government. (Colombo/Jun4/2020)

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