The Samurdhi Bank Societies have made remarkable progress in alleviating poverty, recording total deposits amounting to Rs.17,419 million by end September this year.
Samurdhi Bank societies under several loan schemes have already disbursed Rs.24,757 million worth credit facilities among Samurdhi beneficiary families from 1996 to September this year to overcome their socio-economic hardships, a Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Ministry spokesman told the Daily News.
Of this Rs.24,757 million, Rs.15,119 million has been granted to Samurdhi beneficiary families as self employment loans.
In addition, Rs.5248 million has been provided to Samurdhi recipient families through the Jana Pubudu loan scheme while Rs.3,442 million has been granted for various agriculture related industries, he said.
Samurdhi banks have provided Rs.1,873 million worth Jana Pubudu loans and Rs.1,298 million worth self employment loans to Samurdhi beneficiary families only during the first nine months of this year.
Samurdhi banks have introduced several loan schemes for the benefit of Samurdhi beneficiaries under categories such as self employment, cultivation, housing, animal husbandry, fisheries and industries.
In addition, the Jana Pubudu credit scheme has been implemented to assist Samurdhi beneficiaries to commence self-employment ventures and further develop existing ventures, he said. The 18 per cent interest rate charged by Samurdhi banks on loans has been reduced to 14 per cent at present.
`Samurdhi banks are the only banking network in the country which provide credit facilities to the poor solely based on mutual trust The sole intention of providing these loans to poor is to uplift their living conditions,` he said.
There are 1,038 Samurdhi Bank Societies countrywide including the North-East for providing financial support to the poor. Samurdhi banks have 5.9 million savings accounts, he said. The target of Samurdhi banks is to give credit facilities to 400,000 Samurdhi beneficiary families by year end.