‘Easter attacks could cost tourism USD 1.5 bn’ | Daily News

‘Easter attacks could cost tourism USD 1.5 bn’

‘Sancharaka-Poddo’ from June 10
Minister Managala  Samaraweera
Minister Managala Samaraweera

The entire tourism industry may have come down from about a 30% following the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said.

Quoting Secretary to the Treasury Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunge, Minister Samaraweera said that the said percentage may amount to USD 1.5 billion.

The Minister made these observations at a press brief held at Finance Ministry premises last week. Minister Samaraweera also announced a relief package for informal tourism sector, transportation and entertainment which grants concessionary credit facilities, grace periods and low or free interest rates.

Dr. Samaratunga who was present at the press brief, said that a proper estimation has not yet been done on the total impact on the tourism industry resulted by the Easter Sunday carnage.

“The inflow of the tourism sector approximately is USD 4.6 billion. One third of it is coming closer to a USD 1.5 billion. This is the inflow to the country from the entire tourism industry, both formal and informal sectors.” Samaratunga said.

Meanwhile, the government announced a special loan facility named ‘Sancharaka-Poddo’ with a total interest subsidy cost worth Rs. 1.5 billion, which can be applied from June 10. Furthermore, musical band members will be given a working capital loan facility, a maximum of Rs. 500,000 for 3.46% interest rate and a two years repayment period that can be obtained from June 10, from Bank of Ceylon. Similarly, the government will also grant a short term special grace period for private bus owners for the installments due on the months of April and May this year on the loans or leasing facilities obtained by them.


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