N/E businessmen to take ADB loan

by Shamindra Ferdinando
Rehabilitation Minister Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene expects businessmen in the north-east to take advantage of a special ADB funded loan scheme, Sahanya implemented through commercial banks. "This scheme gives them a unique opportunity to revive their businesses," Jayawardena told the Sunday Island yesterday.

They would be able to obtain loans up to Rs. 35 million on reasonable terms, the minister said. Replying to questions, Jayawardene said his ministry will co-ordinate and do whatever possible to speed up the process. "I have already discussed this with the premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and Treasury chief Charitha Ratwatte," he said, emphasising the need to assist the north-east business to resume their activity.

ADB funds will be made available through Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank and the Seylan Bank, he said. This particular scheme is made available to people of the entire country. Although businessmen in the south grabbed the opportunity, their counterparts in the north-east are slow in seeking help, the minister said. This was mainly due to their ignorance of the availability of this scheme. "We now intend to help them to obtain loans," he said. He emphasised the need to assist them on a priority basis. "If we donít, the LTTE would definitely take advantage of the situation," he said.