Swashakthi' loan scheme provides Rs. 2.2 billion of loans in 2017 for SME startups

Under the 'Swashakthi' loan scheme launched by the Government with the objective of creating a new generation of small and medium-sized enterprises, the government in 2017, has provided Rs. 2.2 billion of loans to 9,700 entrepreneurs, the Central Bank said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe launched the Swashakthi national loan scheme loan scheme in February 2017 to help the small and medium scale entrepreneurs to start self-employments and industries to strengthen the village economy.

The Central Bank says that the Government has initiated the Swashakthi loan scheme with the objective of generating one million new employment opportunities within the next five years.Accordingly, the Bank has provided loans to empower women, youth and graduates in rural areas who have the entrepreneurial capabilities and talents.The Swashakthi program is managed by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs in tandem with the Central bank of Sri Lanka.

 Under the scheme a credit facility up to a sum of Rs. 200,000 will be extended at a concessionary interest rate of 5.5% through 17 public and private banks while a non-recovering financial grant of Rs. 50,000 will also be given along with the loan to meet the preliminary expenses of the business.

 Swashakthi is a credit plus scheme that offers a package of support which supplements the access to financing, according to the Central Bank. The unique feature of this loan scheme is that new entrepreneurs receive special grants in addition to the loan to meet their initial expenses. The loan scheme will be further expanded and the government will continue to implement it.