Costly Plastic

Mar. 30 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s treasury secretary P B Jayasundara has asked the two state banks to step up credit card sales to public servants, following hefty salary increments this year. Under a recent government circular, those working in low and middle level jobs got a 25 percent pay hike, while medical services got 46 percent and accounting/administrative services received 65 percent increment from January 1.

Around 800,000 Sri Lankans are currently employed in the public service out of the total working population of 7.5 million people.

Jayasundara, who made this request during a recent meeting with bankers, said the state banks should make an effort to issue plastic cards with suitable credit limits.

State-run Bank of Ceylon, the island’s largest commercial bank’s chief executive S N P Palihena said they are working on launching few products aimed at public servants.

“There will be no excessive credit limits, or any special treatment. We are looking at introducing housing loans, credit cards and other products for state employees this year,” Palihena said Thursday.

According to Central Bank figures, there were 637,326 active credit cards in the island, which