May 28, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Treasury secretary P B Jayasundera said banks should lend more to agriculture and slammed lenders for financing too much trade and consumption activities. He said only about 3.0 percent of total credit is given to the tea sector, about 0.5 percent to fisheries.
“Instead money goes to consumption loans, trade, motor vehicle finance,” Jayasundera told reporters.
“Probably the banking system finds it easy. But lending to animals, dairy – local dairy – local economic activity is limited.
He was speaking shortly after a launch ceremony for the finance ministry’s 2012 annual report.
“I made a request from the Governor (of the Central Bank) himself who was himself at the launching ceremony to look at that as the regulator to see whether we can get 10 – 20 percent of domestic credit goes to the real economy of the country,” he said.
“The guy who grows a banana tree needs at least eight months to get a fruit.”
But state directed lending can also have negative effects, according to critics of such policies.
Banks lend money saved by other hard working citizens. The state itself is a net dis-saver spending more on current expend