Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Mangala Samaraweera in conversation with an entrepreneur, eligible to receive concessionary loans under the present scheme in Nikaweratiya
Pic by Pradeep Pathirana
By Yohan Perera
State banks should change its stance specially when it comes to lending, and thereby should stop focusing on the assets which an entrepreneur possesses but instead should look at the viability of the project presented by him/her,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
Wickremesinghe expressed this sentiment at the launch of ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ loan scheme which has been designed for the entrepreneurs in the rural areas.
“State banks have been carrying out the same practices for the past sixty years and therefore it is time they changed these practices. Sixty-year old practices do not fit into the modern world,” he urged.
“State banks provide loans only to those who have assets, and this is a practice that has to be changed. An entrepreneur who does not have any assets to use as collateral might come up with a better viable business plan than one who has assets,” he noted.
Wickremesinghe also said banks in many countries have adopted the new practice of looking at projects presented by loan applicants rather than looking at his/her assets.
State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne said banks should remember that those who come for loans could become successful entrepreneurs.
“Bill Gates is one who actually became the most successful businessman in the world. He started his business without any assets,” the State Minister noted.
Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, S.B. Narvinna, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, State Ministers Eran Wickramaratne and J.C. Alawathuwala, Deputy Ministers Nalin Bandara and Indika Bandaranayake were also present at the event.