COVID-19fallout: Lifeline for 4key sectors | Daily News


 

COVID-19fallout: Lifeline for 4key sectors

The Government has identified four key sectors to provide immediate financial assistance and extend debt moratoria, said Minister of Information and Mass Media and Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Bandula Gunawardana yesterday.

He identified Apparel, Tourism, SME and ICT industries and also a sub sector, Tea Small holders to extend this assistance.

Dr. Gunawardana said that out of Sri Lanka’s total export earnings of US$ 11billion, the apparel sector accounted for US$ 5billion.  In addition, tourism generated around US$ 2.5billion and in both sectors over 250,000are employed. “We are providing these employees financial assistance to keep them going for the next few months.”

He said that due to the breakdown of the supply chain from China obtaining raw materials for the apparel sector is an issue and major buyers from UK, EU and USA too are not buying local apparels as it used to be. “This has aggravated the situation.”

 “In both these sectors the employees fall in to the private sector and this is why the Government came out with a relief package for both employers and employees.”

He said that a decision was taken at the last Cabinet meeting to provide working capital at 4%interest rate to industrialists, tourism stake holders plus Tea small holders. “The government will provide a special financial package for banks, which offer the working capital loans at 4%.”

Minister said that collection of interest and capital repayment


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