Helping Hand

Mar 19, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has launched a credit refinance scheme to help small and medium enterprises which are in difficulty to recover, senior officials said. The 100 percent refinance scheme through banks will give loans at eight percent up to a maximum of 20million rupees to help existing firms recover, said W M Karunaratne, director of the banking regulator’s regional development department.

For new start-ups, loans will be given at 10 percent up to half-a-million rupees, he told a news conference.

Entrepreneurs have to put up 15 percent of the money from their own funds with the bank giving the balance 85 percent.

The refinance scheme is to start with immediate effect with a 500 million rupee fund which will be replenished, Karunaratne said.

Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said the funds will be from money in the Central Bank’s revolving credit fund.

“We will not be printing new money to do it,” he told the news conference.

The Central Bank has several schemes through which 11.8 billion rupees of revolving funds is supplied as credit for agriculture, dairy, fisheries as well as poverty reduction mainly in the islan