Special loan scheme to promote gem industry from Lankaputhra bank
Lankaputra Development Bank has introduced a loan scheme especially
for small and medium scale entrepreneurs engaged in the Gem and
Jewellery Industry. The "Lakmini Security loan Scheme ", provides
financial assistance up to one million rupees with an annual interest
rate of 15 %. The repayment period is six mounts.
The Lakmini Security Loan Scheme, in a concept of his Excellency
President Mahinda Rajapaksha and is the first of its kind to be launched
exclusively for small and medium scale entrepreneurs in the Gem and
Lankaputhra Development Bank, the premier Development Bank, with 100
per cent Government security and guarantee will be the lending
institution. Entrepreneurs could obtain 60 per cent of the value of cut
and polished gems in their possession, as a loan, and pledge the Gem
Stones as collateral.
A research study has found that lack of financial assistance has been
a barrier for the growth of this industry.
This led to a lack of facilities for the continuation of the Gem and
Jewellery Industry and also neglecting the introduction of modern
technology and new generation machinery. The present market condition
has also contributed to the slack, growth of the industry.
The local Gem and Jewellery industry employs a large number of
people. The mines sector accounts for around 325,000 employees with
approximately another 27,000 are engaged in the lapidary industry.
Eighty five thousand people are actually engaged in the gem and
jewellery trade with another 883 jobs in the export sector.
Export income from gems in 2007 amounted to 10 billion rupees.
Sri Lanka's gems are exported to 56 countries around the globe and
the total amount exported was in the region of 7.46 million carats or
446,604 pieces of gems. During this period, 5,800 parcels of gems were
The eligibility criteria for financial assistance is that an
applicant should be a small or medium entrepreneur as recommended by a
society linked to the gem industry. Possession of a valid permit issued
by National Gem and Jewelry Authority and being an applicant acceptable
to Lankaputhra Development Bank are additional requirements.