Being the bank of the people, People’s Bank bears a great responsibility to assist the Government to re-start the Sri Lankan economy and help the people of the country to get some form of normalcy to their lives.
Due to the unexpected, adverse impact due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Sri Lankan economy has been at a virtual standstill since 16th March 2020 as the country went into a lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus. As a result this, many sectors were adversely affected, including Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock, Construction, Other Cultivation, Micro, Small and Medium industries, Education and many others.
Given this unfortunate turn of events, People’s Bank took on the responsibility to assist all of these sectors to bounce back rapidly through an injection of much-needed funds via bank loans with attractive financial solutions. As a result, in accordance with the clear direction and guidance of the Government, the Chairman and Board of Directors together with the management of the Bank have introduced a number of new loan schemes along with special concessionary interest rates for the following sectors with most of the loan schemes offering single digit interest rates.
The "Special Financial Service package for Young Professionals" has been introduced for the benefit of young professionals (18-40 years) who are looking for funds to buy a plot of land, build a new house, furnish a home, buy a vehicle, pursue higher education and other similar aspirations. Professionals eligible for this loan scheme include doctors, dentists, vets, engineers, architects, accountants, IT professionals/software engineers etc.
The "Special loan scheme for Government Medical Officers/Government Dental Surgeons" was introduced to show appreciation and provide financial assistance to the dedicated healthcare workers who made significant sacrifices by working tirelessly during the COVID-19 outbreak. Healthcare professionals eligible for this loan scheme include specialists, consultants, medical officers, internship medical officers, nurses and other health sector staff.
People's Bank has also provided a number of new concessions to teachers in terms of loan amount and repayment period in the "Gurusetha" Loan Scheme. Accordingly, permanent teachers in Government Schools, Government Technical Colleges, Pirivenas and Government-approved private schools and even teachers in permanent cadre under probationary period are benefitting from these concessions.
A laptop/PC/tablet loan scheme was also introduced by the Bank for teachers with the aim of promoting e-learning in the Education sector. Eligible individuals include permanent teachers in Government schools, Pirivenas and Government-approved private schools, teachers in technical colleges as well as Buddhist monks. Similarly, the "Laptop/PC/Tablet loan scheme for Undergraduate of Medicine, Engineering and IT faculties of Universities" is a special loan scheme introduced to enhance the online education platform that was caused by the closure in the Education Sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this scheme, students from all Government universities/institutions under the University Grants Commission (UGC) as well as higher educational institutes recognized by the UGC were given the means to acquire a laptop, PC or tablet.
The Bank also unveiled a special loan scheme for the staff members of all universities under the University Grants Commission (UGC). Through this scheme, senior professors, professors, associate professors, senior lecturers, university medical officers, lecturers, probationary lecturers, secretary/UGC, registrar/additional secretaries, accountants, bursars, deputy/senior asst./asst. registrars/bursars, sub wardens, supervisory and primary grade semi and unskilled workers are eligible for loans up to a period of 10 years. The Bank also rolled out a special loan scheme for Judges of Judicial Services where they can obtain loan facilities for up to 10 years.
Artists are another group that has been adversely affected by the outbreak. Following the direction of the government, People’s Bank immediately introduced a special COVID-19 relief loan scheme for members of the Artist Associations.
People’s Bank has made arrangements to disburse these various loan schemes through its islandwide network of 737 branches. Further information can be obtained from the nearest People’s Bank manager.