President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasised that it is the responsibility of State Banks to utilise the relief provided by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), to strengthen the economy and the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global economies have been hit hard by COVID-19 and all types of businesses including agriculture and small and medium enterprises should be directly assisted and uplifted to overcome the prevailing crisis, he added.
He made these observations at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on 17 June, to review the performance of People’s Bank.
“Following discussions held with CBSL, opportunity is now open for State banks to create the environment that is needed to revive the economy.” The President said, “We must move forward with a new development programme, deviating from traditional methods to achieve economic prosperity”.
He added that money should circulate across the country and that it is the responsibility of the 600 People’s Bank branches to deduce the true customers and businesses to issue loans. All managers are obliged to carry out follow- up reviews of the productivity of loans.
President Rajapaksa noted that this is the right opportunity to take the banking system to the rural areas. He warned not to give loans for import purposes.
He stressed that respective parties must benefit from the six-month relief period granted for the payment of leasing instalments. Priority should be given to construction companies as well, he said. He added that People’s Bank has the opportunity to meet the housing requirements of middle-income earners in collaboration with the Urban Development Authority.
(Source: Ceylon Today)