Banks wetting government’s 10,000 tank restoration project

Sri Lankan banks are putting millions on the government’s water-tank-horse that is expected to bear the island into an era of prosperity. Sri Lankan banks are putting millions on the government’s water-tank-horse that is expected to bear the island into an era of prosperity. The government wants Rs. 2 bn to rehabilitate 10,000 ancient water tanks to bring back the golden age of agriculture centred on the village and the village water tanks – and the banks are buying it.

At a press conference Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, announced the numbers.

The State owned banks are understandably the biggest backers.

The cash rich National Savings Bank is sinking Rs. 50 mn in the idyllic picture of agricultural prosperity while the Bank of Ceylon, the island’s largest commercial bank in asset terms, is putting up Rs. 25 mn.

Even the technically insolvent People’s Bank found Rs. 25 mn to donate towards accelerated rural development lead by traditional agriculture.

The much more prudent private banks are laying smaller, safer bets.

The Hatton National Bank, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank in