By Saman Indrajith
The government should grant relief to small and middle level entrepreneurs by issuing a circular suspending parate executions by the banks, Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday.
“If the government is actually concerned about the SMEs affected by the pandemic and the economic crisis, then all that it has to do is to stop parate executions. This could be done by issuing a circular. This has been done in previous times. The last time such a suspension was enacted was in 2021. If the government is actually keen to help the SMES, then it should save the latter in trouble.
“The government says that relief will be granted once the economy is back on track. The people cannot wait until such time. The SMEs need urgent assistance. All you need is the political will to assist them, not mere promises. We need to protect the SMEs. During the first half of this year, the banks have foreclosed on the properties of 400 SMEs and auctioned them. Businesses have collapsed. The government goes around, claiming that it has no money to pay back the loans and seeking additional time. Then, how do you expect only the SMEs to pay back their loans and honour their obligations to the banks. They too have the same problem,” Kiriella said.
Opposition and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa said that the government must stop parate executions immediately, taking into consideration the prevailing situation in the country. “Laws should change in accordance with the needs of time. The SMEs are crushed by the high interest rates. In the meantime, the leasing companies have unleashed their thugs to seize vehicles. This is an ugly and illegal practice. The government should stop this,” Premadasa said.