govt allocates Rs 5.2 b to Green 5,000 industries | Sunday Observer

govt allocates Rs 5.2 b to Green 5,000 industries

Pic: Chinthaka Kumarasinghe  Industry and Commerce  Ministry Secretary K.D.N. Ashoka (second from right) exchanges the green loan agreement with a BOC representative (second from left). Minister  Rishad Bathiudeen and State Minister Champika Premadasa (far right) look on.
Pic: Chinthaka Kumarasinghe Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary K.D.N. Ashoka (second from right) exchanges the green loan agreement with a BOC representative (second from left). Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and State Minister Champika Premadasa (far right) look on.

The recently launched Phase 2 of the Environment Friendly Solution Fund Project (E-Friends II) by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will allow qualifying industries including Small and Medium Enterprises, to obtain financing to the value of up to Rs. 30 million while providing a grace period of two years and a repayment period of up to 10 years, authoritative sources said.

The Revolving Fund Loan Scheme, which aims at supporting around 5,000 industries over the next three to five years, will provide low cost loans at 6.5% interest rate through participating credit institutions assisting industrial enterprises to implement projects for waste minimization, resource recovery, energy savings and pollution control.

The project will also assist industries to comply with the regulations and a standard stipulated by the National Environmental Act.

“Under this scheme, a total of Rs 5.2 billion in funds has been allocated to be channelled through 11 leading financial institutions which include nine commercial banks and two finance companies,” Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, K D N Ranjit Ashoka told a press conference held last week.

The participating credit institutions comprise of 9 commercial banks including Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, Regional Development Bank, Commercial Bank PLC, DFCC Bank PLC, Hatton National Bank PLC, Sampath Bank PLC, NDB Bank, Seylan Bank PLC and two finance companies Peoples Leasing and Finance PLC and LOLC Finance PLC.

“Apart from the general loan scheme which is to improve the environment and meet the environmental safety standards, there will also be a Technical Assistance Loan Scheme provided to finance consultancy services for investigating environmental problems. Under this scheme, the maximum loan amount provided will be Rs. 1 mn at an interest rate of 2% and entails a repayment period of five years and a grace period of one year,” explained, Director/Corporation and Statutory Boards at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mrs. Indika Ranathunga.

She pointed out the eligibility criteria for the two loan schemes will be financially viable Industrial Enterprises including sole proprietorships, partnerships, private limited liability companies and Co-operative societies.

“Although Sri Lankan industries are concerned about reducing environmental pollution however they lack funds to implement green initiatives or to prevent industrial pollution.

Therefore, this loan scheme helps the industries and industrial entrepreneurs to commence their green initiatives and perform such environmentally friendly steps,” said Minister of Industries and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen at the launch.

He said that unlike in the past, modern industrial development efforts require a sustainable approach and therefore the Unity government’s economic reforms focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework.

“We have recently signed the 2018–2022 UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) agreement with the UN. The Sri Lankan SDG targets are moved forward along this and implemented in many ways.

Firstly improved data and knowledge management, secondly strengthening of public institutions for lasting peace and thirdly socio economic resilience and finally resilience to climate change and disaster,” said Minister Bathiudeen, adding that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce with UNIDO has recently commenced SDG 9 framework for industries.

State Minister of Industry and Commerce, Champika Premadasa was also present. 

 

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