Awareness programme held for local govt. officials | Daily News


Financial aid to tackle microfinance debts:

Awareness programme held for local govt. officials

A meeting to raise awareness about the follow-up action to be taken regarding the Cabinet paper presented by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to provide financial aid to people burdened by microfinance debts, was held for Anuradhapura local government officials on Tuesday, a statement from the Finance Ministry stated yesterday.

It said that Rs.250 million had already been set aside for the matter, and that according to the Premier, the financial aid is to be provided to beneficiaries sans refunds to the Treasury.

Local government officials had faced many issues when implementing this loan scheme, which was launched in 2018. They had stated that the main issue was the limited loan amount, which was Rs.40,000.

They had added that many people had obtained loans greater than that limit as well, and that it pushed the previous government to raise the limit to Rs.60,000. Furthermore, the annual interest rate granted to settle the loans had stood at 14%.

At present, that number is to be dropped to 9%. Eight percent of this interest is to be credited to the revolving fund, while the balance would be set off against administrative expenses, the statement added. A lecture on financial literacy, organised by the Central Bank, was also held on Tuesday as part of the awareness programme. Anuradhapura District Secretary R.M. Wanninayake and Finance State Ministry Secretary D.D. Mataraarachchi were among those who participated in the event.

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