Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera says 15 billion rupees will be set aside for the concessionary loans at lower rates to target sectors. The Budget-2018 themed as Enterprise Sri Lanka will create a credit scheme for the small-scale entrepreneurs to borrow loans at the rate of 6.5 percent and in some cases 3.3 percent to fund modernization and expansion of the enterprises.
The Minister was addressing a post budget forum in Colombo. He further said that one of biggest barriers to start a business in Sri Lanka is the cost of capital. The Minister pointed out that many young entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs have innovative business ideas but they find it is difficult to make them viable at prevailing interest rate of 15 percent and above.
The Finance Minister stated that the new initiative will change the entire landscape of Sri Lankan enterprises. He also noted that he is willing to listen to suggestions from different sectors of the economy on budget where there may be mistakes to correct. The Minister highlighted that citizens, especially the youth of the country would be empowered to take their future into their own hands. Starting with this budget the government wants to unlock the barriers to investment, trade, and enterprise. According to the Minister, access to land, labor, and affordable capital are the major impediments to the creation of new businesses and to expand existing ones.