Spring Cleaning

South Asian bankers kicked off a meeting in Colombo on Monday to draw up a roadmap to reconstitute an existing development fund to be on the lines of a regional lending body. South Asian bankers kicked off a meeting in Colombo on Monday to draw up a roadmap to reconstitute an existing development fund to be on the lines of a regional lending body. The South Asian Development Fund or SADF has not made much progress despite sitting on a US$ 6.2 million kitty for nine-years.

It has funded 17 projects – mostly to draw up feasibility reports and fine tune human resource skills – but its activities have been hamstrung due to lack of capital, formal structure and no permanent secretariat guiding operations.

“The absence of any sort of formal structure prevents us from even tapping multilateral lending agencies to raise funds,” Sri Lanka’s NDB Bank Chairman, S K Wickremasinghe said delivering the keynote address to delegates.

NDB Bank, which is the focal point for SADF activities in Sri Lanka, takes over SADF’s Chairmanship from Pakistan next April for two-years.

“We are hoping to set the structure right during the two day meeting, which includes drafting bylaws a