August 20, 2019
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    Tourism relief package; Rs 26 bn considered for moratorium

    June 14, 2019

    The relief package announced by the government to facilitate the tourism sector which was affected drastically following the Easter Sunday attack is progressing satisfactorily. As per data from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), 1,055 applications for borrowing requests have been received by banks as at May 31. Out of the total exposure, the tourism exposure is around Rs.62 billion where Rs.26 billion has been considered for moratorium.

    “We need more data to evaluate the progress of what the government is doing in clarifying this situation,” said Non Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha De Silva at a media briefing held at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority yesterday. He said that they had already informed the CBSL to provide them with a weekly report instead of a monthly report. Thus actual up to date data could be presented to the general public.

    Moreover frequent inspection needs to be carried out to identify any delays and inconveniences in progressing with the actions that needs to be followed according to the relief package and Dr De Silva said that policy changes will be made if required. He also said that issues related with obtaining the working capital loan is also considered and are currently dealt with. The working capital loan enables entities engaged in the tourism industry to obtain loans under the Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme from Rs.2.5 million to Rs.250 million.

    Furthermore, the problem that has been raised with the registration of entities connected with the tourism industry has been rectified. Accordingly, provisional registration for the first three months for anyone connected with the industry is now established. Both state and private banks have now extended their full support in lending out loan services as per circulars given by the Ministry of Finance and the CBSL. Bank officials who were presented said that more than 1,000 requests are been processed currently and some requests are already been dealt with.

    However the problem connected with the leasing banks is not resolved since complaints are being received but officials representing the leasing banks said that they are complying with the directions given by the CBSL and the request that they have received are currently been processed.

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