October 23, 2021
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    Extension of relief package on tourism loans by another 9 months shows Government’s commitment to protecting industry stakeholders – Minister Prasanna Ranatunga

    September 24, 2021

    The Government has decided to extend the relief package given to the stakeholders of the Tourism Industry to repay their loans by another 9 months, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga says.

    The relief package was introduced after the industry was hit badly following the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The relevant Circular was issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on September 13. Earlier the package was scheduled to be expired on September 30.

    The action was taken in this regard on the directives of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Minister Ranatunga said.

    Many countries including Sri Lanka have reopened the business in the Tourism Sector and the industry is gradually returning to normal. Nearly 45,000 tourists have arrived in the country in the recent past. The industry is to bouncing back during the coming 3 months and 5000 tourists per day are expected to arrive in the country next year. The Government has taken action to provide various concessions to the tourism industry stakeholders who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the recent past, Minister Ranatunga said.

    Providing relief to pay loan installments, electricity and water bills, leasing payment, and allowance of Rs.15,000 and 20,000 to registered chauffeurs and guide lecturers are among them. Tourism is the most affected industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government believes those who engaged in the industry should be protected to recover the industry. With that in mind, steps were taken to extend the relief package on tourism loans, Minister Ranatunga said.

    The particular Circular has already has been issued to Commercial Banks. It was first issued effective from August last year. The beneficiaries of the package had requested the Government to extend the period of the package by another 6 months. However, having taken the prevailing situation into consideration, the Government decided to extend it by another 9 months, Minister Ranatunga further said.

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