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Industrial Development Fund to help micro industry and SMEs

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By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Industrial Development Fund injects new life into micro, small and medium-scale industries.

The Industrial Development Fund (IDF), administered by the Industrial Development Board (IDB) under the purview of the Ministry of Industry has joined forces with the Regional Development Bank (RDB) to extend loans to 25 deserving individuals.

These loans, capped at a maximum of Rs.500,000 per recipient, are earmarked for the expansion and development of micro, small, and medium-scale industries. The initiative aims to invigorate Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurial landscape, paving the way for a brighter economic future.

A total sum of Rs.6.5 million will be disbursed in the initial phase, benefiting 25 entrepreneurs, each representing a distinct district. The recipients will operate under a favourable three-year payment period, subject to an annual interest rate of 6%.

The distribution of award letters took place at the Ministry of Industry, orchestrated under the astute guidance of Industry Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana yesterday.

The initiative finds its roots in the Industrial Development Act No. 36 of 1969, enforced by the Ceylon Industrial Development Board.

After a hiatus of 54 years, the IDF was recently unveiled at BMICH during the National Industry Week, led by Minister Pathirana. Its inauguration was marked by an initial balance of Rs. 10 million, a figure that has since grown to an impressive Rs. 15 million. Anticipations are set high, with projections indicating an escalation to an unprecedented Rs. 1 billion by next year.

During the event, the Minister articulated his vision of bolstering the IDF, ensuring accessibility for all MSMEs by the following year.

Dr. Pathirana also shed light on the bureaucratic challenges faced by industrialists in conventional banking channels, leading many to seek loans through informal means, a situation he vows to address.

The Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance is working with the Asian Development Bank to introduce a credit guarantee scheme.

Industrial Development Fund is now in place to help budding industrialists,

Entrepreneurs which consist of 2.8% of the 8.5-9 million labour force in the country must be increased to at least 10% and the ease of doing business ranking must improve to at least below 50th position from 99th place reported in 1920-21 during the next five years, for Sri Lanka to record rapid development, he said.

The Minister extended his gratitude to the IDB for their relentless efforts in elevating Sri Lanka’s micro, small, and medium-scale industries.

Regional Development Bank Chairman Susantha Silva emphasized the bank’s unwavering commitment to fostering the growth of the micro, small and medium-scale industries economy. He stressed the critical importance of business discipline in this endeavor.

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