The Central Bank of Sri Lanka) has decided to provide further relief measures to assist tourism sector businesses and individuals who are adversely affected by the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak.
Hence, issuing a circular yesterday (16) the CBSL requested all licensed commercial banks, licensed specialised banks, licensed finance companies and specialised leasing companies (hereinafter referred to as Financial Institutions) to provide the following relief measures to eligible borrowers:
Financial institutions have been directed to extend the existing 6 months moratorium period granted in terms of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Circular No. 05 of 2020 issued on 27 March 2020 to 12 months in respect of capital outstanding of leasing facilities granted to tourism related vehicles.
These institutions may recover interest during the moratorium period from eligible borrowers referred to in paragraph (1) above, in a manner that is not inconvenient to the borrower.
CB has also informed financial institutions to waive off the accrued penal interest in respect of leasing facilities granted to tourism related vehicles.
Sri Lanka’s inbound tourism transport sector is just surviving with a depleting vehicle fleet and the sustainable practices in the tourist transport service have been neglected up to now, tour operators said.
They blamed the Tourism Ministry and Treasury authorities for not making any attempt to strengthen the tourist transport service by providing incentives for service providers enabling them to increase the vehicle fleet and by introducing green environmentally-friendly cars and vans to attract tourists while protecting the environment.
The need to increase the tourist transport vehicle fleet has been brought to the notice of authorities by tourist transport service providers on many occasions but it went unheeded.
Tourism has been bouncing back in the country and a group of businessmen engaged in transporting tourists requested assistance to improve the sector.
Source: Travel Voice (LNW)