‘Reduced interest rates: A relief to SMEs’ | Sunday Observer

‘Reduced interest rates: A relief to SMEs’

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the media last week that bank interest rates will be reduced to provide further relief to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector. “We would pursue action to reduce bank interest rates and provide relief to the Small and Medium Enterprise sector,” he said adding that orders and instructions in this regard will be issued next week through the Monetary Board.

This decision was taken after extensive deliberations with heads of several institutions to give a helping hand to entrepreneurs who have found it difficult to improve their businesses on account of higher lending rates, the Prime Minister said.

Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, the Prime Minister’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, officials of the Finance and National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministries, the Monetary Board, Association of Chartered Accountants and heads of State Banks participated in the discussion with the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said discussions were held to explore ways and means of reducing bank rates and further action will be taken in terms of the report to be obtained in this regard.

He also said that the government hopes that the new measures will help reduce the debt burden on the business community and uplift business ventures.

“Although we had decided to reduce the interest rate, the 52-day crisis became the stumbling block causing a loss of 1,000 million dollars to the country.

However, we could provide relief this year, despite the setbacks of last year.

In the course of the next few weeks we will reassemble to effect the changes and provide further relief,” he said.

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