The Cabinet approval was given today to issue loans at the interest of four percent for the payment of salaries to the employees of the tourist hotels and guest houses registered with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) by March, 2019, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.
Minister Ranatunga submitted the Cabinet paper in this regard. Accordingly, the loans will be issued at such a concessionary rate for the payment of salaries up to Rs. 20,000 each.
The Minister said there would be a two-year moratorium for the payment of such loans. Besides, similar loan facilities will be extended for the payment of salaries up to Rs.15,000 each for six months to the employees of spas and eateries approved for tourists.
Besides, the registered tour guides will be provided Rs. 20,000 and drivers Rs.15,000 as one time allowance.
The registered tourist hotels will be afforded the opportunity to settle their water and electricity bills for the period between March 1, 2020 and August 31 in 12 installments after September 1.
The Ceylon Electricity Board and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board have been instructed not to disconnect their services until such time.
The Minister said 144,117 in the tourism sector affected by COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from these relief measures. (Kelum Bandara)