Connect with us

news

Central Bank treading a thin line on continuation of moratoriums

Published

on

By Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is not in a position to put pressure on commercial banks to offer moratoriums continuously as there was another side to the loan repayment saga, the bank’s Deputy Governor Ms.Yvette Fernando said yesterday.

“I appeal to the borrowers who can pay, to pay their loans for their own best interests. And those whose income generation has been truly affected due to the ongoing pandemic would hear an announcement from the Central Bank in the coming weeks for a different arrangement, Fernando told the media at an online forum subsequent to the CBSL Monetary Board’s monthly monetary policy review meet.

The Deputy Governor added: “I think we have been in moratoriums for about one year. We need to always remember that moratoriums have also the other side of it. When it comes to financial institutions, they have a continuous obligation to make payments to their depositors. So even as the Monetary Board and the Central Bank, we are not in a position to tell the banks continuously to continue these moratoriums. However, considering the situation, Tourism and Passenger Transport sectors are still in moratoriums with some adjustments until September. But based on the more recent situation we are going through – we have already started discussions with the banks and the Finance House Association to see how best or what kind of facilitation we can give these borrowers because we understand that there can be payment delays because of the culture of certain businesses and as a result their income generating avenues have been disturbed.

“And by all means, any bank will definitely be in a favourable way because banks also want their investments or the loans to be paid on time or avoid complete defaults. The discussions we have had with the banks in this regard have been favorable, but we are not at this point looking at a complete moratorium because I think we cannot do this when we carefully consider the point of view of the banks and finance companies also. We have to understand the fact that these banking and non-banking sector companies are operating at different levels and so they don’t have the same capacity to go through these kinds of moratoriums continuously. So we have to address that.

‘These discussions are ongoing and most probably very soon we will be able to announce something that will help the really affected borrowers also. I kindly would like to say that anybody who can pay or in a position to pay their loans should continue to do so because it is in their best interests to do so. Your delaying the payment of a loan means; there’s going to be some additions to it, so it’s in your best interests to pay while you can. But for those who are really affected, we are in the process of looking at it and we will make some announcement.

‘But broadly speaking, we are taking the position that it is the bank and the borrower who could practically agree on a suitable arrangement. One year into moratoriums, the financial institutions also know about the nature of their customers and what kind of disturbance they encountered on the ground. With that knowledge, we are looking to issue instructions to the banks in this regard.’

 

 



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

Debt-ridden CEB goes ahead with shocking pay hike amidst pandemic

Published

on

Workers offered 25% increase this year…12% annually over three-year period
 

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Two days after the Presidential Secretariat stated that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) owed two state banks––Bank of Ceylon and the People’s Bank, a staggering Rs 85 bn, the cash-strapped enterprise announced an annual 12 percent salary increase to its employees.

Vijitha Herath, Chairman, of the CEB, yesterday (15) said that the salary increase in terms of the collective agreement for 2021-2023 period would enable the workers to receive 25 per cent in the first year whereas annually it would be 12 percent over a period of three years.

The ministry said that in spite of severe difficulties caused by the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic, the salary increment was granted in response to workers’ request.

Declaring that the Cabinet and the Board of Directors of the CEB had approved the salary increase, the ministry has sought cooperation of the CEB trade unions to finalise the collective agreement.

The ministry claimed that CEB workers had been granted a spate of privileges not given to other state sector employees hence consensus on collective agreement was expected soon.

The Presidential Secretariat on Sunday explained that one reason for the banking sector crisis was the failure on the part of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the CEB to settle Rs 562 bn and Rs 85 bn, respectively.

The Presidential Secretariat issued the statement in the wake of SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam, MP, triggering a political storm by demanding Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila’s immediate resignation over recent increase in fuel prices.

The CEB Chairman also claimed that they had been able to bring down the accumulated losses to Rs 56 bn last year from Rs 97 bn in the previous year.

Continue Reading

news

Indian fishers riled by SL moves to create new fish breeding grounds

Published

on

By Dinasena Ratugamage

 

Fishermen from Rameswaran will hold a protest today (16) against Sri Lanka’s decision to submerge 20 old buses in the seas off Jaffna to create breeding grounds for fish.

Members of 17 fisheries associations in Tamil Nadu and Rameswaran claim that this will affect their yield as more fish will be attracted to the breeding grounds created by submerged buses.

The Ministry said that sinking those buses was nothing new and that such buses provided a hard surface for invertebrates to live on, some of which could not live on the sand bottom that is naturally there.

“Some fish are not fast swimmers, so they need a structure to provide both food and shelter; they wouldn’t, for example, be able to outswim a shark, but they could duck into the shelter instead,” a Sri Lankan fisheries association representative said.

However N. Devadas, the head of the Indian fishermen’s association in Rameswaram, said that they would also hand over a petition against that decision to the Sri Lankan government. Sri Lanka has been submerging old SLTB buses in the deep sea for many years as a part of the Deep Sea Fish Development Project.

 

 

Continue Reading

news

Three more weeks needed to see drop in COVID deaths – Dr. Fernandopulle

Published

on

It would take at least three more weeks to see a drop in COVID-19 related deaths in the country, Minister of COVID Disease Control, Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle said yesterday.

There had been a drop in the number of cases reported already, she said.

“The number of patients is coming down but there has been an increase in deaths. However, this too will come down.

Continue Reading

Trending