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* Sri Lanka Central Bank to help revive the SME sector in the country
Mon, Mar 22, 2010, 12:08 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Central Bank has launched a Rs. 27.8 billion credit line known as "Saubhagya" to revive the country's Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.

The credit line is now available from all licensed commercial banks and specialized banks.

The Central Bank's Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told the media that the new credit line came with a lifespan of three years, where the Bank had made arrangements to make these monies available to every province in the country.

"We are hoping to disperse these funds on a percentage basis where the Northern Province is to get 7.9%, Eastern Province 3.2%, North Central Province 5.8%, Wayamba Province 1.5%, Central Province 2.5%, Sabaragamuwa Province 1.3%, Uva Province 2.2%, Southern Province 2.4%, and the Western Province 1.4%. We have allocated more percentage to Northern Province as we would like to see this province catch up with other provinces," he said.

The Central Bank is to invest Rs. 11.8 billion of its own funds and receive the remaining amount from the state.

Under the new credit line, SMEs are eligible to obtain loans up to a maximum of Rs. 20 million for the restoration of affected SMEs at an interest rate of 9% per annum and for new start-up SMEs and expansion activities at a rate of 10% up to a maximum of Rs. 500,000.

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