Micro Finance Agencies will be closely monitored – State Minister Shehan | Daily News

Micro Finance Agencies will be closely monitored – State Minister Shehan

Unwarranted money transactions including loan facilities of illegal micro finance lending agencies will be thwarted under the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Samurdhi, Household Economy, Micro Finance, Self-employments and Business Development State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said.

The State minister was addressing the gathering after the launch of an islandwide programme to educate villagers about the financial literacy and disciplines in obtaining loans.

The State Minister said that the Government was addressing a people’s demand that they should be protected from the micro financing trap. “Now we are strengthening the laws and regulations that cover the micro financing companies, the State Minister said.

The launch was organised under the patronage of 54 Samurdhi Banks in the Anuradhapura District as a pilot project. The first programme was carried out by the Saliyapura, Mihintale and Thirappane Samurdhi Banks. The Samurdhi Development Department assisted the programme.

“We have prepared a policy statement for addressing the financial problems of the rural folks on the instructions of the President and the Prime Minister. About 93 per cent of those who caught in the micro finance trap have been rural women. We have summoned micro financing agencies for discussions and it seemed that two categories are operating in the field. One Group has been registered and the other category has not been registered. They grant micro loans at exorbitant interest rates and unfair terms and conditions. We are at difficulty in gathering first-hand information of these agencies. While a State and private sector banking system are in force, many rural people receive loans from these fraudulent bankers. We not only warn them but also help them with a viable solution,” State Minister said.

State Minister Semasinghe said that this issue could not be resolved only by enforcing tough laws or by amending Acts. Those who are taking loans from such agencies must be educated about their ploys. The State Minister said that the Samurdhi Banking Service will be strengthened to provide a more comprehensive and people-friendly service for the rural people, Sate Minister said.