June 24, Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has approved loans amounting to Rs 28 billion at a concessionary rate of 4 percent to over 13,000 businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Having identified the urgent need of reviving the businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and thereby to promote economic activity in the country, the Central Bank and the Government of Sri Lanka launched a novel refinance facility under the Saubagya (Prosperity) Loan Scheme, named Saubagya Covid-19 Renaissance Facility, as announced on 24 March 2020.
The Central Bank has approved 13,861 loan applications under the Phase-I of this Scheme, totaling Rs. 27.9 billion, out of which the licensed banks have already disbursed Rs. 14.8 billion among 7,274 affected businesses island-wide as of 24 June 2020.
These loans carry a concessional interest rate of 4 percent (p.a.) with a grace period of 6-months and a repayment period of 24-months.
The Central Bank said in addition, the Bank is ready to provide further Rs. 120 billion at a concessionary rate of 1 percent (p.a.) to commercial banks for on-lending to the affected businesses at a concessionary rate of 4 percent (p.a.) under the Phase-II of the Scheme.