Continuing its heavy focus on entrepreneurial and economic development island-wide, BOC has led the way in CBSL’s ‘Saubagya COVID-19 Working Capital Loan scheme, by being set to single handedly disburse Rs.42.8 Billion of the allocated total of Rs.150 Billion by CBSL. A sum of Rs.34.6 Billion has already been fully disbursed by the bank, which is almost to 83% of the total number of loans BOC has successfully registered with CBSL.
The program officially termed the ‘Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance Facility’ was launched by CBSL to revive businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so as to mitigate the negative effects on living conditions countrywide and the national economy. Introduced in 3 phases, the 4% interest working capital loans offered through the program have helped businesses continue operations and support their employees, while contributing to the country’s economic revival.
Participating financial institutions such as BOC maintained full adherence with the strict loan eligibility and application criteria set out by the Regional Development Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. From loan assessment and vetting to forwarding, BOC’s stringent internal approval procedures fully complemented CBSL’s loan scrutinization process, ensuring as large a number of loans as possible received CBSL approval.
The working capital loans offered have allowed businesses of all sizes and across all industries, to continue operations unimpeded. A sizable 58% of the loans disbursed by BOC as part of the program have been in the SME Service sector, with a further 33% in the Agriculture sector. This highlights the critical nature of the ‘Saubagya Working Capital Loan Scheme’ to small and rural enterprises islandwide and in the revival of key sectors of the national economy.
For BOC, this represents a continuation of their renewed focus on Micro and SME development islandwide plus financial literacy and awareness in rural areas, through their industry-reputed ‘Divi Udana’ development loan scheme. Running parallel to CBSL’s ‘Saubagya COVID-19 Working Capital Loan’ scheme, BOC’s ‘Divi Udana’ scheme continues to support the government’s social and economic development goals, with emphasis on sectors that have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A considerable number of loans have been granted under BOC’s ‘Divi Udana’ development program so far, across sectors including agriculture and trading as well as service-oriented areas such as IT.
Of equal importance, full-scale awareness programs on entrepreneurship, loan facilities plus general financial awareness and literacy, have been conducted island-wide through the BOC ‘Divi Udana’ program, leading to improved economic and social well-being across the country. Bank of Ceylon’s extensive expertise and capabilities in the areas of entrepreneurship and post crises rebuilding have allowed them to spearhead CBSL’s ‘Saubagya COVID-19 Working Capital Loans’ program while parallelly producing entrepreneurs islandwide through its very own ‘Divi Udana’ development loan scheme. These initiatives places BOC in a stronger position to create lasting economic and social value across the country while furthering its reputation as the pioneer in national economic development.