New Broom

June 08 (LBO) – The newly set up, state-sponsored Lanka Puthra Development Bank is to begin operations by the end of this month, but the bank, which has no branch network, has to find a way to reach rural customers.

We will provide loans of a million rupees and more, at competitive interest rates for agricultural, industrial, construction and fisheries sectors, Abhaya de Vas Gunawardena, Chairman of the bank said.

The Lanka Puthra bank is also planning to raise savings and fixed deposits from the public.

Plans to take its services to rural areas in collaboration with state and development banks is now being discussed, as the Bank’s main focus is development projects outside the Western Province.

The head office will be located at Maitland Crescent in Colombo, while we will also have branches in Hambanthota and Polonnaruwa, Gunawardena said.

The government is set to liquidate the Private Sector Infrastructure Development Company (PSIDC) to raise capital for the bank.

This would make Lanka Puthra a fully state owned specialized bank. Thirty employees have already been recruited.

Meanwhile, the Construction Guarantee Fund which currently comes under the Ministry