Business Times

First-ever loan scheme to encourage entrepreneurship among the estate community

By Chanaka de Silva

The Lankaputhra Development Bank this week launched a first ever loan scheme for the estate sector to encourage self employment. With this in view, the bank and the National Democratic Union signed an MOU on the provision of financial assistance to promote self employment in the estate sector. Hereto an untapped market Lankaputra Development Bank said it seeks to stimulate the entepreneurship among the estate community.

Speaking to the Business Times, Lankaputhra Development Bank General Manager Lasantha Amarasekara stated that this community was largely ignored by other lending institutions of the country simply because the cost of recovery was high and the amount borrowed is low in comparison. ”We have seen the opportunity here and instead of ignoring it we have found a way to make it pay.

This way it gives these people an opportunity to better themselves and, at the same time it is a new business opportunity for us,” he added. The scheme will be initially be available to 25 selected estates in the Hatton Zone in the Nuwara Eliya district followed by the rest of the island. The loans will be given for vegetable and flower growing , production of sweets, food items, video filming , beauty culture and retail trade among several other categories as well. The above loan scheme will be within Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000. The period payable will be a maximum of 24 months.

The initial implementation area will be in the Nuwara Eliya District (Hatton Division). The target estates are follows: Kew Estate, Kew Estate Upper Division, St.Johntillery- Upper Division, Venture Estate- Factory Division , Upper Division, Lower Division and 50 Acres, Stockholm Estate , Gawarawila Estate, Straphspey Estate, Colombogama Estate, Sooriyakanda Estate, Thonga Estate, Campion Estate, Morar Estate, Gordon Estate, Helbodda Estate, Helbodda Estate Lower Division, Dungle Estate, Pottry Estate, Buttegala Lower, Upper Divisions, Cornwalls Estate and Flintof Estates.

The Lankaputhra Development Bank, a fully owned state owned bank, has previously implemented several other projects that encouraged small and medium scale entrepreneurs. The Krushi Navodaya, Mahaweli and Nawa Sapiri rural loan schemes are among them.

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