No collateral, low interest under Enterprise SL for war widows, ex-combatants | Daily News


No collateral, low interest under Enterprise SL for war widows, ex-combatants

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is in Jaffna overseeing the implementation of an entrepreneurship loan scheme for young people in the Northern Province, yesterday held a series of meetings with war-affected people to help them to make use of the opportunity to obtain loans under the Enterprise Sri Lanka Exhibition.

In the morning, he met the members of the war widows and the small and medium entrepreneurs associations at the Jaffna Kachcheri, a media release from the Finance Ministry said.

He also held a separate meeting with the ex-combatants at the Jaffna Kachcheri. Finance Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga, Senior Deputy Treasury Secretary R. Despariya and the Deputy Treasury Secretary Atapattu and Jaffna GA N. Vedanayagam were also associated with the Minister at this discussion. The Minister announced at this meeting that the government has decided to offer interest-subsidised loans up to Rs. 1.5 million under the Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme without obtaining collateral. So he said there is no need for women of the war widows association and ex-combatants to look for two surety guarantees.

The Minister emphasised that the government was mindful of the hardships faced by the Northern people during the last 30 years and especially the hardships faced by women-led families.

“Let bygones be bygones. We are here to lift your livelihood facilities by giving you interest-subsidised loans,” the Minister said.

The Minister also said that the Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to pay a monthly allowance of Rs. 6,000 to each family of missing persons. He instructed the members of the missing persons association to obtain the Certificate of Absence in the name of their missing persons from the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) to be qualified for this payment which is to be effected from November 1.

Earlier, these women and ex-combatants brought to the notice of the Minister that they faced social hardships and stigma in obtaining guarantors for them.

On the instruction of the Minister Samaraweera, the Jaffna GA is to arrange a two-day workshop on Friday and Saturday to help and train prospective entrepreneurs to prepare their proposals to submit to the banks. The Northerns area managers of the state banks who were present at this meeting agreed to send their representatives too to make their proposals viable for them to obtain loans.

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