The Central Bank, Cargills (Ceylon) PLC together with Bank of Ceylon launched a joint program to create markets for farmers from Jaffna recently. Central Bank Assistant Governor W M Karunaratne said under this Poverty Alleviation Microfinance Project (PAMP) there are around 18,000 families and nearly 3,000 groups.
The Central Bank has allocated Rs 3 billion which is a fund from JICA. They are planning to initiate the program soon in Mullataivu, Killinochchi and Mannar.
“We will first create a vision in these groups so that they will learn to work on a target” he said. They are also trained to save individually and in groups as savings are necessary in doing business.
With a minimum of Rs 100,000 and a maximum of Rs 200,000 personal loans are provided. The loans are given under trust with no guarantors.“However, it is important that the recovery of these loans are 100 percent.
Microfinance is an important segment which should be given more priority. Recognizing the importance the Central Bank is currently working on introducing a Microfinance Act”, he said. Skills, training and financial assistance is provided for traditional sweetmeat makers, palmyra Jarggery products, palmyra baskets, agriculture and also for those who are engaged in fisheries