July 02, Colombo: In order to develop villages the banking service in the country should understand the rural economy and the needs of the people, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasized.
It is a timely necessity to develop export agricultural businesses instead of waiting for foreign countries to come into fray. Mere establishment of industries alone cannot be defined as development pointed out the President adding that rural entrepreneurship centered around agriculture should be promoted.
President Rajapaksa made these observations during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat today (02) to review the current progress and the future activities of the Rural Development Bank (RDB).
The Government expects to achieve economic growth by developing the agriculture while properly assessing needs. President said it is vital to look at the context from the angle of the grassroots level.
In providing loans commercial banks give priority to the trading sector than to the production sector. It is the responsibility of the RDB to encourage farmers to increase their production.
The need of promoting the cultivation of Ulundu, maize, green grams and other varieties of grain without resorting to import them was also stressed. President said it is his wish to see that the rural banks reach the rural community and encourage farmers by setting different targets.
The loan defaulters who had taken large sums of money on a long-term repayment basis should severely be dealt with according to the law President said. He also said a mechanism should be formulated to collect debts owed to the State banks.
Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to Ministry of Finance, S. R. Attygalle, Governor of the Central Bank, Prof. W. D. Lakshman, Chairman of the RDB, Mahinda Saliya, General Manager / CEO , T. Kuhan and members of the Board of Directors participated in this meeting.