About 75,000 women will benefit with the recent government decision to write off the non-consumption loans granted up to Rs. 100,000 by registered microfinance institutions, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. The Minister was responding to the concerns by JVP Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament yesterday.
He said the Central Bank has told those companies to send before the end of this month the personal details and the amount of the loan obtained by each women eligible to receive the relief measure of the government.
He said that even though the government provided this relief to women in 12 drought-affected districts - Trincomalee, Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kurunegala, Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa - it will be extended to women in all other areas under the next stage.
He said the government granted this relief only to those who had obtained loans from registered microfinance companies, while there are many other who borrowed from unregistered companies and unscrupulous lenders.
MP Dissanayake pointed out several loopholes in the government’s proposal to provide relief to women who have obtained loans from microfinance companies for a higher interest rate.Minister Samaraweera accepted MP Dissanayake’s fact. “To address that loophole, we will amend the legislation relating to finance companies and microfinance companies prior to Budget 2019,” he said.