Following the complaints made by medium and small enterprises that participatory banks were reluctant to disburse concessionary loans among needy borrowers, the Central Bank claims it has approved loans amounting to LKR 178 billion up to now.

It has come up with its latest statistics claiming that they have approved 61,907 loans amounting to LKR 178 billion through the Saubhagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility as of 15 October 2020.

 These applications were for a total of LKR 177,954 million and registered under the three phases of the Saubhagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility.

 So far, licensed banks have released loans amounting to LKR 133,192 million among 45,582 affected businesses island-wide.

This was LKR 45 billion less than the Central Bank’s allocation, financial analysts said adding that the monetary authority has taken action to process and approve a large number of  loan applications of COVID-19 affected individuals and businessmen during the past two and half months.

Only 25,365 applications out of 36,489 have been sanctioned for these concessionary loans by August 21 this year, CB data showed.

A sum of LKR 68.6 billion has been disbursed among them out of the total allocation of LKR 150 billion, according to latest official statistics.

Accordingly, the banks have processed and disbursed LKR 65 billion among 20217 during August 21 – October 15 period (1 month and 24 days).

The Central Bank has approved 25418 applications during this period with an average speed of 57 applications per day, financial analysts noted.

Phase I of the Loan Scheme was implemented with effect from 1 st April 2020. Both Phase II and III of the Loan Scheme were introduced with effect from 1st July 2020. The intension of these schemes was to provide a total of LKR 150 billion as working capital loans at interest rate of 4 percent per annum.

These loans enjoyed a repayment period of 24-months, including a grace period of 6-months. The recipients were the businesses, including self-employment and individuals, adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In view of the large number of requests received from the affected businesses, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka decided to accept applications regardless of the LKR 150 billion limit originally envisaged.