The Finance Ministry sponsored four-day Enterprise Sri Lanka national exhibition in Anuradhapura at the Walisinghe Harischandra Stadium, ended on Saturday.

The exhibition which began on July 24, saw around 500,000 visitors, mainly schoolchildren and youth.

Speaking to the media and audience on Saturday, State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne said the government’s Enterprise Sri Lanka programme was the best opportunity extended by any government for encouraging amateur entrepreneurs. Enterprise Sri Lanka and Gamperaliya were two revolutionary economically uplifting programmes in the country.

“With Enterprise Sri Lanka, we aim to make the country a paradise for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. This innovative programme focuses on enterprising young self-employed farmers and innovators identified as the backbone of economic development in the country. These two national economic development programmes will help us to substantially raise per capita income, while helping to create one million new jobs and maintain the GDP above five percent,” the State Minister said.

“For the first time, we have provided loans under such low interest rates for enterprise development, for the public. If a person thought that he couldn’t achieve prosperity through obtaining a loan under the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme, he would never gain another opportunity to obtain a loan at such low interest in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Treasury Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga said the Enterprise Sri Lanka exhibition in Anuradhapura has been a great success having paved way for 20,000 amateur entrepreneurs in the district with the strength to take the country towards an export-oriented economy. Under the Enterprise Sri Lanka subsidised loan scheme, 55,000 rising local entrepreneurs have been granted loan facilities worth Rs. 88 billion.

At the closing ceremony, Anuradhapura Government Agent R.M. Wanninayake handed over the official scroll indicating that the second Enterprise Sri Lanka exhibition which was held in Anuradhapura had successfully ended and that the third exhibition would be held in the Jaffna district, to the Jaffna Government Agent N. Vedanayagam in the presence of Jaffna district Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran.

Wanninayake said that nearly 500,000 had visited the exhibition during the four days from 24–27 and there were large number of requests from the public for extending the exhibition for a few more days.

Ministers Ranjith Maddhumabandara, P. Harrison, and Chandrani Bandara were also present on the occasion.  Source: Daily News