President emphasizes speedy relief to ETI depositors, regulation of micro finance institutions

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – President Maithripala Sirisena today emphasized the need to expedite providing relief to the depositors of the embattled Edirisinghe Trust Investment (ETI) non-banking financial institution.

President Sirisena made this observation when the National Economy Council met at the President’s Office yesterday .

The Economic Council focusing its attention on the liquidation of the company’s assets to compensate the aggrieved depositors presented the council’s recommendations to resolve the crisis created by the finance company to the President.

In the period of 2015-2018, three institutions had agreed to buy ETI, two of which are Sri Lankan companies and one is a foreign company.

The National Economic Council focused attention on whether there was sufficient transparency during negotiations with the local companies and whether a proper bargaining was done to get a maximum sum to pay the depositors in the transaction.

The Council also observed that it is not clear whether all three companies were given the same opportunity for the bidding on the financial company.

The ETI has taken measures to liquidate some of its to pay back its customers and the Economic Council inquired about that matter as well.

The Central Bank has announced that 20 percent of deposits of the ETI has been paid back and ten percent will be paid soon.

The National Economic Council also discussed about Micro finance projects that have been a big burden to people in village areas with low income.

The President pointed out that the people in the Micro Finance Credit system are in a very stressful situation and explained the importance of a method of registering the financial institutions providing the loans.

The progress of the loan scheme that was recently introduced by the government to provide relief to the affected people has been reviewed and attention was focused on introducing a special program to further enhance the facilities, the efficiency of the loans and to reduce the interest rate on the loans.

Accordingly, setting up an institution for the regulation of micro financial lending institutions was discussed at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka�s physical plan that was updated by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western development was submitted to the President at the meeting. It is the first time the plan has been updated after year 2007.

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