The Treasury has allocated Rs. 4.4 billion to implement a major loan scheme called Divi Udana aimed at developing eight different economic sectors.
Some of the key segments under Divi Udana include large and small scale agriculture industries, SMEs, poultry trade, solar power, low-income housing, school transport services and media sector, Director General of the Finance Department of the Finance Ministry Priyanka Atapattu said.
Under this scheme, businesses and entrepreneurs can obtain loan facilities from commercial banks to start, develop and expand their ventures at a very low interest rate. At the same time low income families and operators of school vans can also obtain loans to upgrade their housing units and purchase school buses by replacing school vans. The loan project to be launched on March 31 in the presence of the President and the Prime Minister is a key proposal of the Budget 2007, presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunannayake last November.
Explaining some of the key features of the ‘Divi Udana’ scheme, Atapattu said the benefits that the businesses and entrepreneurs can get through this scheme is enormous as the interest of these loan schemes are minimum.
For instance the loan schemes aimed at agricultural sector would support large scale companies such as CIC or Hayleys and a similar scheme is available for small-time entrepreneurs in the sector as well, he added.
The leading commercial banks in the country – State and private banks have extended their fullest cooperation to implement this project the Treasury has already signed MOUs with several banks.
The rest will be signed during the next few days prior to the launch of the scheme.
Atapattu added that the banks have been given the operational guidelines. “This is one of the major loan schemes to be implemented by the government this year.”