Subsidised loans

Sri Lanka’s labour ministry says the government is introducing a loan scheme to give subsidised housing loans, to beneficiaries of a state managed retirement fund, using money taken from the fund at rock bottom rates. Sri Lanka’s labour ministry says the government is introducing a loan scheme to give subsidised housing loans, to beneficiaries of a state managed retirement fund, using money taken from the fund at rock bottom rates. “We have discussed with the Central Bank, and it has also been approved by the Cabinet,” says Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratne.

“We have also discussed with five banks and who will issue the loans, and we will publish a notice soon.”

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank manages the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which gets money from compulsory deductions of private sectors workers’ salaries.

Last year the fund had to invest in government securities at around 7.5 percent while inflation rocketed up to 18 percent as the government printed Rs 65 bn to finance the budget.

“We will issue loans at 5 percent,” Minister Seneviratne said. “They can borrow amounts ranging from Rs 250,000 to Rs 10 mn, depending on their income.”

In 2004 the EPF, which has Rs 350 bn under its manageme