Various loan schemes to encourage female entrepreneurs in North and East

Deputy Finance and International Monetary Co-operation Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama said in Parliament today that both government and private sector organizations had implemented various loan schemes to promote entrepreneurial opportunities for the women in the North and the East.

Responding to a question raised by UNP Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa, the minister said that Entrepreneur loan scheme and the ‘Liya Isura’ interest free loan scheme for women were the two main loan schemes for women entrepreneurs. The women entrepreneurs could get interest free loans upto a maximum of Rs 250,000 irrespective of their age and without the need for collateral. ‘Vanitha Navodya’ credit scheme under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment and financial contribution from the United Nations Development Fund for Women had been introduced for the women who faced with economic difficulties due to natural disasters such as flood, landslides, hurricanes and typhoons and due to war-like situations prevailed in certain areas.

Under the loan schemes, large number of women had been provided with credit facilities through state banks during the past five years. The Bank of Ceylon provided loan facilities to 7,349 women entrepreneurs while the People’s Bank had provided 62,163 female entrepreneurs with loan facilities. In addition, the Regional Development Bank (39,279 beneficiaries), Sri Lanka Savings Bank (31,269 beneficiaries) and the Lankaputhra Development Bank (1,261 beneficiaries) too have helped women entrepreneurs in the North and the East.

Deputy Minister Amunugama said that 340 women, from the North and East, have been benefitted from a loan scheme to facilitate those who had completed self-employment training since 2012. A further 17 women from the same districts have benefitted from “Viyavasaikavo” loan scheme since

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