State Bank loans waived off

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With the present situation in the country becoming unbearable for paddy farmers, who account for approximately 30 per cent of the total population, Cabinet has approved the cancellation of unpaid loans obtained from State Banks by paddy farmers with less than two hectares.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Mahinda Amaraweera said Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe submitted the proposal to Cabinet.

Addressing the media yesterday (5) at the weekly Cabinet media briefing, he said Cabinet has approved waiving the initial loan amount obtained from State Banks for paddy cultivation on lands of two hectares or less, where farmers are having difficulty in repaying.

Meanwhile, he said the Urea shipment from India is scheduled to arrive in the country on 9 July, and that the fertiliser will be distributed on a priority basis.

“Farmers have also faced significant difficulties as a result of switching to organic fertiliser. Banks have classified the farmers’ unpaid loans as non-performing loans. As a result, the Government made this decision in light of farmers’ difficulties in obtaining loans for paddy cultivation in the coming season,” he explained.

BY Thameenah Razeek