Government declares banking as an essential service

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The government has declared banking as an essential service in the country, in the backdrop of a curfew, enabling the public to fulfill their essential needs.

Issuing a statement, the President’s Media Division stated that the President has issued instructions to ensure that all banks are kept open despite the countrywide curfew, which is in effect.

The President’s Media Division added that the President has also instructed all financial institutions to provide working capital requirement loans at an interest rate of 4 per cent.

Further, instructions had also been issued to waive off interest payments for at least six months for the industries of tourism, apparel, plantation, IT, logistics, and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.

Meanwhile, President Rajapaksa has also instructed financial institutions to charge a maximum rate of 14 per cent on local credit card transactions worth up to Rs. 50,000.

Directives have also been issued to extend the repayment of all credit cards below the limit of Rs. 50,000 until April 30.