Moratorium welcomed with complaints
Industry stakeholders lauded the Government’s recent decision to grant a six-month moratorium for the repayment of loans obtained from banks and financial institutions, although an apparel sector leader stated that this moratorium alone would not revive the Covid-19-hit sectors.
The Government’s decision was announced last Wednesday (18) and was on top of the credit support scheme announced in January for the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The moratorium received the approval from the Cabinet of Ministers last week and was part of a number of measures that were announced to minimise the economic impact caused by Covid-19.
Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) Chairman Rehan Lakhany stated that while the credit support scheme covers only the MSMEs, this moratorium covers large companies as well.
However, he added that at a time when most export orders are cancelled and sourcing raw materials for apparel exports is extremely difficult, the apparel sector needs more than a moratorium.
“Factories have asked to stop production because most of the orders are cancelled. The situation is very serious at the moment,” Lakhany noted.
When contacted, Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe said that any moratorium given by the Government in the wake of Covid-19 and its impact on the country’s economy should also include all export sectors instead of two or three selected sectors.
The moratorium announced last week only applies to apparel and tech, as far as export sectors are concerned.