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Microfinance credit crisis, a reason behind rural women going to Middle East!

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The Sectoral Oversight Committee focused on mitigating the impact of the economic crisis on the affected parties due to the micro-finance crisis in Sri Lanka.

Attention was drawn to the aid when the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis met in Parliament recently (09) under the Chairmanship of MP – Gamini Waleboda.

Organizations in Sri Lanka representing people aggrieved by microfinance loans were called before this Committee. Accordingly, officials representing the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policy, Department of Prosperity, Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Department of Registrar of Companies were present at the Committee meeting held.

28,000,000 rural persons affected!

Addressing those present, Sri Lankan organizations representing persons aggrieved due to microfinance loans had pointed out that number of aggrieved rural civilians stand at 28,000,000, out of which 24,000,000 are women. It was also mentioned that these facts were identified in a survey conducted in 2018. 

One reason for rural women going to Middle East

Furthermore, the representatives pointed out that even though these loans were given for a small amount, the rural persons were unable to pay them, but 38%, 48% interest was collected and because of this, the lives of the rural women had become completely miserable. They also pointed out that the microfinance credit crisis has also caused more rural women to join domestic work in Middle Eastern countries.
And it was disclosed that this crisis in the microfinance sector was created in the largest group that obtained loans from six Major non-banking financial companies under the supervision of the Central Bank, and these institutions have provided 80% of the total microfinance loans of 84,000 million i.e. 67,000 million rupees. It was disclosed that the property of those who obtained loans has already been acquired.

Bill doesn’t address concerns of aggrieved parties

Furthermore, the representatives of the aggrieved parties pointed out that the problems of the aggrieved parties have not been addressed in the proposed Bill and thus they have to face more problems.

The Chair of the Sectoral Oversight Committee pointed out that there is a need to undergo a complete review of the proposed Bill and accordingly, without inconveniencing the government, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance should jointly review the Act and amend the Act to provide solutions to the real problems of the victims and not to protect the six major financial companies.  He further pointed out that if not the 30/40 hundred thousand microfinance customers in Sri Lanka will have to face problems. The Chair of the Sectoral Oversight Committee mentioned that the Parliament is waiting to be informed about this by the Sectoral Oversight Committee.

Dr.Sarath Weerasekera, Nimal Lanza, Mohomad Muzammil, Asanka Navaratne, Wasantha Yapabandara, Nimal Piyathissa, and Jayantha Samaraweera, were present in this committee.

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Notice on rebuilding or compensating housing damaged by bad weather

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Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayaka, announced that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed to take the necessary measures to either rebuild or provide compensation, subject to a maximum limit, for houses that were completely damaged by the recent adverse weather conditions.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also stated that measures will be implemented to assess the damage and provide compensation, subject to a specified maximum limit, for the repair of partially damaged houses.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka shared these views during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (20), concerning the rebuilding of houses fully and partially damaged by recent adverse weather conditions.

The discussion extensively covered the reconstruction of houses affected by natural calamities such as strong winds, floods and landslides, which have impacted various parts of the country in recent days. The provision of suitable compensation, subject to a maximum limit, was also deliberated.

To ensure appropriate compensation within specified limits, for fully damaged houses upon agreement with beneficiaries, and prompt construction of such houses with the assistance of the Armed Forces. Additionally, the assessment and repair of partially damaged houses, with compensation also subject to a specified maximum limit, were discussed.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also directed District Secretaries to submit formal reports on houses fully and partially damaged by natural calamities.

In attendance at the discussion were State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, the three commanders of the armed forces, and heads of relevant line Institutions. Participating remotely were District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries via online technology.

(President’s Media Division)

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Piyumi’s income generated from Lollia Skin Care – CID

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has initiated a thorough investigation regarding a beauty products manufacturing company named Lollia Skin Care (Pvt) Ltd, which is said to be the main source of income of model Piyumi Hansamali, who is under investigation for her assets.

It was informed to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday by the Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID. This company has been registered under the Business Registration Number PV00256805.

According to the CID, the investigation will be focused on businesses carried out by this company, taxes paid and also the imports and exports carried out by the company.

The Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID on Wednesday (19) informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that an investigation was initiated regarding the purchase of a Range Rover Jeep for Rs.78 million, the purchase of a house from Grand Housing Complex in Colombo 7 for Rs.148 million and maintaining 20 bank accounts with suspicious transactions by Piyumi Hansamali. It has been revealed that these 20 accounts have been opened in relation to the National Identity Card numbers of her and people closely associating the model.

The investigations were based on a complaint lodged by President of the ‘Magen Ratata’ organization Sanjaya Mahawatta under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

(dailynews.lk)
(This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone to commence today

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The Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone annually held to coincide with the Poson Poya will be held from June 21 – 23.

This year, the Poson Zone spans across 13 kilometres covering Diyagama, Pitipana, Dampe, Meegoda, Godagama, Panagoda and Homagama.

The event is jointly organized by the Homagama Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya, the Presidential Secretariat, the Transport and Highways Ministry, the Western Provincial Council, the Homagama Divisional Secretariat, Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha, the Homagama Zonal Education office, the Army and the Police.

Cash prizes to the value of Rs. 4 million will be given to the winners of the Poson Lantern competition.

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