Govt. to set up Rs.15bn credit scheme for small biz

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - BUSINESS NEWS -

The gov­ern­ment will al­lo­cate Rs.15 bil­lion un­der the Bud­get 2018 to cre­ate a credit scheme for small busi­nesses in tar­geted sec­tors, Fi­nance and Mass Me­dia Min­is­ter Man­gala Sa­ma­raweera said.

The credit scheme will al­low small busi­nesses to bor­row at a con­ces­sion­ary rate of 6.5 per­cent and in some cases as low as 3.3 per­cent. Ac­cord­ing to Sa­ma­raweera, the cost of cap­i­tal is the big­gest ob­sta­cle faced by small busi­nesses when start­ing a busi­ness.

Along with the credit scheme, he said a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) guar­an­tee fund will also be set up to en­able SMES with sound busi­ness plans to ac­cess credit with­out col­lat­eral.

“These new ini­tia­tives will change the en­tire land­scape of Sri Lankan en­ter­prises,” he said.

Sri Lanka re­quires tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­tres, as only a small num­ber of stu­dents find places in state uni­ver­si­ties. Min­is­ter Sa­ma­raweera said it is im­por­tant that the gov­ern­ment also in­vests in the ma­jor­ity who are left be­hind, to en­able them to stand on their own and con­trib­ute to the coun­try’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

He said the ar­chaic laws that re­strict en­trepreneur­ship will be amended and an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment, par­tic­u­larly for small busi­nesses, will be cre­ated.“we are work­ing with the Ger­man and Swiss govern­ments to ex­pand Ger­man tech­ni­cal schools, hav­ing 5 new schools around Sri Lanka. The skill de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes will be con­ducted in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the pri­vate sec­tor to en­sure rel­e­vance,” he said.

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