Aug 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday chaired a meeting between the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and the Heads of Bank of Ceylon, Peoples Bank and the Regional Development Bank to expedite the "Enterprise Sri Lanka" loan program.
Minister of Highways, Higher Education and Investment Promotions, Kabir Hashim, State Minister for Finance, Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister of Finance and Media, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Secretary to the Treasury Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, the Chairmen of State Banks and other top officials of the three State Banks participated in the meeting.
During the discussions, it was decided to conduct training programs for all new entrepreneurs, district wise, along with the Central Bank officials on how to develop a business plan prior to applying for a loan and to continue assisting them through the loan process.
The Finance Ministry, the Central Bank and the three State Banks also agreed to meet once a month to discuss the progress of the Enterprise Sri Lanka program. A monthly progress report will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance on the disbursement of loans.
It was also decided to revise the loan facilities to accommodate very small-scale businesses and to simplify the registration of businesses through the local authority or the Divisional Secretariat.
Furthermore, a special hotline will also be set up to register any feedback from the loan applicants.
'Enterprise Sri Lanka' loan scheme proposed in the 2018 budget to create entrepreneurs and boost domestic private investment was launched in June this year.
The Enterprise Sri Lanka scheme offers attractive concessionary financing to stimulate investment and expansion by entrepreneurs, SMEs, and even large businesses.
A number of loan schemes with state subsidies will be launched under this program, and the Finance Ministry has given the instructions to relevant banks on implementing the program in cooperation with State and Private Banks, Foreign Financial Cooperative Institutions and other participating institutions.