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Japan and ADB grant over Rs 33 billion for Fisheries and SME sectors.

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): The Japanese Government has agreed to provide a grant of JPY 200 million, under their economic and social development programme, towards the development of Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry.

The grant aims to empower the fisheries industry by developing freezer facilities and supplying modern equipment, in a bid to add further value and uplift the living standards of the fishing communities in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

Accordingly, the grant, amounting to roughly Rs. 435 million, is expected to supply ice production machines and digital scales for the Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation,.

The Japanese grant will provide funds to procure fishing nets for the National Aquaculture Development Authority and deep freezers, along with tractors installed with deep freezers, to the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Meanwhile the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide USD 100 million (Rs32.83 billion) for a new project set to be launched by the Sri Lankan government, titled the ‘Small and Medium Enterprise Development Finance Project’.

The project aims to aid those entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who find it difficult to finance their businesses.

Meanwhile, the establishment of a ‘National Credit Protection Institute’ was also agreed on, through which banks will prioritize asset-based lending over cash-flow based lending, allowing for less rigidity.

The ‘Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Scheme Project’ was initially implemented by the government of Sri Lanka, with financial support amounting to USD 165 million from the ADB, to provide investment and working capital loans to SMEs at concessional interest rates.

The proposed project is a line of credit through 13 participating financial institutions (PFIs) to targeted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sri Lanka, including SMEs that are led by women, are first-time borrowers, do not sufficient collateral and are located outside of Colombo.

The fund allocation for 10 PFIs has been made on a competitive basis. The project also includes an attached technical assistance (TA) for (i) developing innovative financial schemes for SMEs and promoting export-oriented cluster development (funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR)

It is also for developing an ecosystem for women entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka (funded by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

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