(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The real programme to enthrone the farmer was launched by the present Government through the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.Apart from the farmer population, people in several other sectors have been offered an opportunity to enter entrepreneurship through the programme, he said.
The Minister inaugurated the Enterprise Sri Lanka farmer relief loans scheme at a ceremony held at the Dambulla Pirivena wewa grounds on Monday.Although the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme suffered a minor setback due to the recent political crisis, it had now been revived to be carried forward with added vigour.
Minister Samaraweera said the 1925 hotline for obtaining information about the loan scheme and resolving problems will be reactivated from February 1.Minister Samaraweera said entrepreneurship was nothing new to Sri Lankans because they had been skilled entrepreneurs from ancient times.
This was proved by the discovery of Chinese, Egyptian and Persian coins during excavations done in various areas.“The present government initiated the Enterprise Sri Lanka relief loan scheme to revive that past and make it a reality once again.Under the farmer relief loan scheme, various loans are being disbursed to total Rs.750 million.
The interest rate was half the normal rate. Graduates were provided interest free loans, he said. The Minister said the Enterprise Sri Lanka relief loan scheme had been further widened by introducing several other new loan schemes in 2019. One of them is granting loans upto a maximum Rs.10 million to Sri Lankans employed abroad to build houses of their own.These loans carry half the normal interest rate with a grace period of one year.
Similarly loan schemes had been introduced to enable the private sector to import luxury buses and taxi drivers changing over to small cars. Minister Samaraweera also symbolically handed over Enterprise Sri Lanka loans to a batch of farmers. Minister P. Harrison, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne and Vasantha Aluvihare, MP Rohini Kaviratne, Deputy Treasury Secretary A.R. Deshapriya and officials were present.