The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) together with the Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE), through licensed commercial banks, commenced popularizing the new “Manusavi” Migrant Worker Loan Scheme from Monday (Dec.04).

The event was held under the patronage of Labor and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara. 

On behalf of the SLBFE, its chairman Hilmi Asis, and on behalf of the CBSL, Senarath Dharmawardena, the Regional Development Director exchanged the relevant loan proposal agreements.

The SLBFE has earmarked a total of Rs. 5 billion to implement this loan scheme.

To be eligible for the loan scheme, a migrant worker is required to maintain an individual or a joint Personal Foreign Currency Account (PFCA) or Savings Account (RSA) in a licensed commercial bank and should have remitted foreign exchange to the respective account (at least within the past three months).

The SLBFE says the loan can be obtained for starting/ expanding a business, buying/ constructing/ expanding a house, buying land/ vehicles, higher education of children or any other productive purposes. The maximum limit of the loan a migrant worker can obtain is Rs. 2 million.

The maximum interest rate that can be charged from the borrower is 8% and a maximum period of 36 months is given to repay the money.

For this, individual or joint loan applications can be forwarded to the respective bank before going abroad or while abroad. The loan applicant can authorize a close relative through power of attorney (POA) to receive the loan amount on their behalf.

The SLBFE says the loans cannot be repaid in Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR). However, the opportunity is given to settle the loan in LKR after returning to Sri Lanka upon completion of the foreign employment. If the loan is repaid in LKR, prevailing market interest rates will be applied.

Refinancing facilities are provided through the Regional Development Department (RDD) of the CBSL at an annual interest rate of 4% for the following licensed commercial banks that contribute to this initiative:

• Bank of Ceylon
• People’s Bank
• Commercial Bank
• Hatton National Bank (HNB)
• Sampath Bank
• Seylan Bank
• Cargills Bank
• DFCC Bank
• National Development Bank (NDB)
• Pan Asia Bank
• Union Bank