President urges state banks to take lead in reviving economy

Gotabaya Rajapaksa - President of Sri Lanka

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday told a group of Bank of Ceylon officials that he had not instructed them to assist any of his relatives, associates or those who had supported him. State banks should take the lead in assisting everyone from farmers to investors, he said.

Rajapaksa said that state banks should directly intervene to rebuild the economy and formulate strategies that would help realise the objectives of the government.

The President issued these instructions during the review of BoC’s progress.

The interest rate on a loan shouldn’t be a two digit number if a country wanted to develop, the President said.

The banks should lower interest rates, he said.

President Rajapaksa pointed out that the world was facing a whole new challenge. “Time has come to think out of the box”, he said, noting that the growth rate that exceeded 7% before 2015 had fallen to 2% in 2019. The economy faced a much greater challenge after COVID-19 and state banks should play a major role in reviving the economy, he added.

(Source: The Island)