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Govt expands tourism relief schemes

The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to further expand the relief packages provided in support of the tourism industry recovery in the wake of the recent terror attacks. Given the severity of the downturn and the length of time needed for gradual recovery, the expanded financial relief schemes will cover the entirety of the industry, from the large hotel sector to the medium and small scale hotel and guesthouse sectors to the transport, entertainment, supply and travel sectors, the Daily News learns.

Accordingly, the ministers have approved a proposal presented by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera which will see the grace period being increased up to March 2020, for the working capital loan scheme. The loan scheme was introduced to support enterprises and individuals who are engaged in tourism to expand the coverage of the debt securities fund.

Furthermore, a grace period of two months will be provided up to June 30, 2019 for passenger bus owners.

A new working capital loan scheme is to be introduced for travel agencies and music bands.

In addition to the relief already offered, the “Sancharaka Poddo” concessionary loan scheme will be issued through regional development banks to provide financial assistance that is needed by small scale informal sector entrepreneurs and enterprises engaged in tourism related businesses.

(Daily News)

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