State Banks should spur economic revival | Daily News


 

President tells BoC management

State Banks should spur economic revival

Interest rates should be lowered to single digits
Out-of-the- Box solutions required
Major segments of economy must be assisted
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaking at a meeting with the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaking at a meeting with the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division

State banks should directly contribute to revive the economy, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasized yesterday.

Speaking at a meeting with the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) at the Presidential Secretariat to review the performance of the institution, President Rajapaksa pointed out that it is a responsibility of the state banks to prepare the system to implement Government policies.

“Identifying the strategies and continuing them to maintain a vibrant economy is a prime responsibility of State banks,” he added.

The President stressed the need to lower the interest rates of loans to a single digit to support development, observing that the country’s aspirations could not be fulfilled while maintaining interest rates at double digits.

“I have not asked State banks to grant loan facilities to any of my supporters or relatives. However, State banks should take the initiative to give the necessary financial support expected by various segments of the society from the farmers to small and medium scale entrepreneurs and investors,” the President stressed.

“No country has ever experienced a crisis of this extent and nature before. Out of the box thinking is required to face it. Economic revival cannot be achieved only through traditional methods. I do not hesitate to use the powers vested in me by the people’s mandate to fulfill their aspirations.

That is done not thinking about politics, but the country.

I also do not hesitate to take appropriate action, if anybody disturbs that endeavour,” the President noted.

The President pointed out that the economic growth rate which was about 7-8 percent of the GDP prior to 2015 has declined to less than 2 percent of the GDP by 2019, and it shows a further decline in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Understanding these realities, it is the responsibility of State banks to support and implement Government policies aimed at economic revival,” he added.

Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, Finance Ministry Secretary S R Attygalle and BoC Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte also attended the meeting.


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