Colombo, Oct 18 (IANS) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has approved $966 million worth of loans under a relief program for Covid-19 affected businesses, it was reported on Sunday.
A total of 61,907 applications for loans under the Saubagya Covid-19 Renaissance facility has been approved, Xinhua news agency quoted an official statement issued by the CBSL's Regional Development Department as saying.
Out of the total amount, $723 million has been disbursed through licensed banks to 45,581 businesses across the country.
The loan scheme was created to provide $814 million worth of working capital with a 4 per cent-per-annum interest, a 24-month repayment period, and six-month grace period to COVID-19 hit businesses.
"In view of the large number of requests received from the affected businesses, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka decided to accept applications regardless of the 150 billion LKR limit originally envisaged," the CBSL statement said.
The first phase of the loan scheme was implemented on April 1 amid a nationwide curfew imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, while the second and third phases were implemented on July 1.
Sri Lanka has so far reported 5,475 coronavirus cases and 13 deaths.