Tourism industry lease, loan concession extended by six months


The loan and leasing concession package, granted to tourism industry stakeholders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be extended by a further six months, Tourism Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga said.

The circular extending the leasing concession has already been published while the circular pertaining to loan concessions will be issued in the coming weeks.

The Minister said that there is no use of providing patchwork solutions to problems in the tourism industry which was badly hit by the pandemic and long term solutions were needed since livelihoods of those on the industry were adversely affected by both the COVID-19 outbreak and the Easter Sunday attack.

He also said there should be a systamatic mechanisim to survive in industry and its dependents specially during disaster or pandemic situation in the future.

The proposal to extend the loan and leasing concession package has been approved by the Central Bank at special discussion held between Tourism Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga and Central Bank Governor, Prof. W. D. Lakshman at the Central Bank Auditorium recently.

During the discussion, representatives from the various professions engaged in the Tourism industry stressed that the interest amounting to Rs. 105 billion for the loans amounting to Rs. 350 billions have to be paid by tourist hotel owners in the industry.

They are in great difficulty in paying back these loans and interests.

The Central Bank has agreed to provide some relief period for these people in the future, the Minister also noted.