PM tells banks to provide credit facilities to local industries | Daily News


PM tells banks to provide credit facilities to local industries

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa participated in the opening of the ‘Shilpa Thursday’ exhibition at ‘Diyatha’ Park in Battaramulla yesterday. The exhibition, aimed at promoting local handicrafts, will be held every Thursday. It has been initiated on the guidance of the Cane, Brass, Clay, Furniture and Rural Industry Promotion State Ministry and the National Crafts Council with the support of the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation. Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa and State Minister Prasanna Ranatunga also participated. Picture courtesy Prime Minister’s Media Division


Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking at the opening of the weekly handicraft market ‘Shilpa Thursday’ at Diyatha Uyana in Battaramulla remarked that banks must follow a lenient policy towards local craftsmen to encourage them to develop their products and upscale local cottage industries.

The Premier said that local craftsmen were facing insurmountable difficulties when applying for loans from banks.

He added that if local craftsmen were availed the opportunity to obtain loan concessions, it would be of assistance to develop and enhance their product offering.

He noted that in order to make these local handicrafts known, they need to first be easily accessible and sold in as many markets.

“In order to popularize local handicrafts we need to sell these products and use them. The popularity of these products depends on its availability in local markets,” he said. “At every turn, our government has always given precedence and priority to local crafts. I am pleased that we are fortunate to be given the opportunity to help uplift and rebuild an industry which for many years was long ignored and neglected.”

He further said that having dedicated stores for local handicrafts will enable the craftsmen to make better products and achieve a higher return. To this end, the Premier called upon banks to assist by helping local craftsmen open up accounts at the closest branches and to avail them loan concessions.

The Premier commended the effort and initiative taken by Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa to host the local artisan weekly fair which was organized by the National Crafts Council in collaboration with the local industries ministry.