Dec 15, 2019

'Madya Aruna' loans not granted to eligible journalists

It is reported that more than half of the eligible candidates of the 'Madya Aruna' Credit Scheme of Enterprises Sri Lanka, which was launched during the good governance government, have not been benefited.

This has been confirmed in an inquiry conducted by People's Bank under the Right to Information Act.

According to People's Bank, the total number of journalists eligible for loans under 'Madya Aruna' credit scheme had been 1,667.Out of these, loan applications have been issued for only 806.

The total of 658 journalists have been benefited from this scheme. According to reports, 248 journalists have been granted loans in 2018 and 210 in 2019.

Accordingly, out of 1667 eligible beneficiaries, 1009 have not been granted loans.

The qualified candidates were selected after an interview by the Ministry of Mass Media.A list of eligible candidates has also been sent to the state banks.

In order to issue the loan application, the applicant has to obtain a recommendation from the bank again and accordingly the number of loan applications issued amounts to 806.

The bank has refused to grant loans to another group of people who are unable to meet the conditions stipulated by the bank for issuing loans to the applicants.

The Enterprise Loan Scheme has been temporarily suspended after the new government came to power.

During Mahinda's tenure, loans were granted to journalists

However, the present government states that granting loans to journalists at concessionary rates for the purchase of media equipment has been carried out annually since Mahinda Rajapaksa's tenure.

They allege that as good governance government came into power, the granting of loans to journalists was included in the Enterprises Sri Lanka program.

It is also reported that the present government is preparing to abolish the said media loan scheme based on the said allegation.