New “Sancharaka Poddo” loan scheme introduced for small businesses in tourism sector affected by Easter Sunday attacks

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka’s Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday introduced a relief package for various sectors of the economy affected by the bomb attack on April 21.

Speaking at a media briefing Thursday Minister Samaraweera said a tourism loan scheme named “Sancharaka Poddo” has been introduced for small businesses affiliated with the tourism sector who faced economic hardship due to the terrorist attack on Easter Sunday.

He also said that measures have been taken to extend credit facilities to a number of other sectors.

In addition to the relief provided to the leading travel industry, the Finance Ministry has decided to provide relief to small businesses, which were connected to tourism industry in small scale and earned a good income and have become helpless victims of the Easter Sunday attacks now.

“Accordingly, we will introduce the ‘Travel Poddoo’ loan scheme under the Enterprise loan scheme, on June 10.”

Under the ‘Travel Poddoo’ loan scheme many small scale hotels and inns can obtain an interest free loan of up to Rs.500,000 taking into consideration effect of the Easter Sunday attacks. Furthermore, the interest-free loan is expected to be repaid in three years with a grace period of 12 months.

Providing this loan scheme is only through the Regional Development Bank and after 10th June, people can apply for the loan.

A new working capital loan scheme will be introduced under a concessionary interest rate for the music groups who were affected by the adverse situation in the country to pay their loans and leasing charges on their equipment.

Accordingly, guidelines will be issued to Bank of Ceylon to provide a working capital of up to five Rs. 500,000 at a 3.5 percent interest rate with a two-year repayment period from 10 June 2019. The government bears 75 percent of the interest.

The Minister also said that those who are making Pandals will be provided with a relief package by next week.

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