‘Moratorium on SME loans below Rs.300 mn commendable’ | Daily News


‘Moratorium on SME loans below Rs.300 mn commendable’

The move by the new government to impose a one-year moratorium on loans obtained by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) below Rs.300 million under the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is commendable as they were burdened with heavy taxes during the previous regime, Peradeniya University Senior Lecturer Dr. Charitha Herath said.

He was speaking at a special discussion held at a holiday resort in Melsiripura, last Saturday. Nearly 100 intellectuals; including university lecturers, school principals, teachers, lawyers, and other professionals; took part in the event.

Dr. Herath said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has a clear vision to lead the country on the right path; and that under his able leadership, a large number of major development projects are currently being implemented throughout the country. He also said there would be a stable government after next March. Then, the government would be able to embark on a massive development drive. Therefore, people must vote wisely at the upcoming General Election.

“The natural resources found in Sri Lanka are rarely found in any other country, but we have still not realised their value, and done nothing to reap the maximum benefits from them for the economy,” he added.

“At present, three female job categories; tea-pluckers, garment workers, and housemaids in West Asia; have become the major foreign exchange earners,” Dr. Herath said; “This needs to change. We should develop our export crops to increase our foreign exchange earnings.”

He further said that SMEs were burdened by taxes and high bank interest rates under the previous regime, and that therefore, the present government has decided to suspend recovery of loans obtained through SMEs not exceeding Rs.300 million for each entity, through a directive to revive SMEs in the country. It would not have a negative impact or additional financial pressure on the banks which have lent money, Dr. Herath said.

Head of the Wayamba University's English Department, Dr. Konara M. Dissanayake, said that there is hope among the people to see the dawn of a healthy political culture devoid of corruption and injustice in the wake of the 2019 Presidential Election.

“The previous regime had planned to sign several agreements that were harmful to the country, but President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has directly said that the devolution as proposed by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would not be granted as the majority of the people have opposed it,” he added.

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