Credit Call

Feb 28, 2008 (LBO) – Ten Sri Lankan state banks have joined a government public information service with the aim of giving the public better access to finance, officials said. Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said Thursday the service is meant to improve the efficiency of government service and make it easier for people to borrow in order to ensure more balanced economic growth.

“We need to connect those who need finance with those who have the finance to give,” he told a news conference.

“The information service will tell people about loans available, how they are dispensed, what information is required to get credit . . .”

The public can call 1919 to access the service run by the Government Information Centre (GIC) which operates from 8 am till 8 pm and is staffed by officers who can handle queries in all three languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English.

It is not a toll free number and calls will be charged at local rates.

“We shouldn’t always think we should get everything free,” Cabraal said. “We must move away from that mentality. People would have paid a lot more otherwise, if not for this service.”

The service aims to make government se