July 2, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has several unused credit lines awaiting disbursement, while small and medium industrialists complain that they cannot get loans. The Money Report talked to Lionel Somaratne, a veteran development banker who has been hired by the International Finance Corporation help improve SME access to finance and also improve the capacity in banks to service the SMEs.
Somaratne says that the problem is not the lack of money, but the inability of small industry to qualify for loans.
Q: You say that there is enough money for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). What are some of the outstanding credit lines awaiting disbursement?
A: There are a few credit lines extended by the multilateral lending agencies. The main credit line is the one given by the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation; that is called SMILE (Small and Micro Industries Leader and Entrepreneur Promotion Project). We have a lot of money under that credit line.
In addition to that, the government has got a credit line from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for projects in the southern province.
There also we have money for the projects in thr