State Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim requested heads of state banks to take necessary arrangements to rescue the people from the clutches of informal money lenders who charge heavy and unconscionable interest rates and reach them with easier loan schemes for their benefit.
He made this request at a Ministry progress review meeting held at the Ministry auditorium on August 18.
The Minister who requested state bank heads to pay more attention towards the extension of facilities provided to small and medium scale entrepreneurs added that special attention towards fishery, animal husbandry and agricultural industries and promotion of export-oriented production was a national priority. He also requested state banks to have discussions and forward proposals for the development of small and medium scale enterprises and submit them for consideration in the preparation of the next budget.
The Minister who analysed data relating to the past and present operations of state banks observed that a large sum of money had been written off as bad debts by state banks during the previous regime. Observing that bad debts written off in recent times had reduced drastically, he said steps should be taken to bring this down further. Heads of State Banks, Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana, Additional Secretary Priyantha Mayadunne and other officials participated.