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“Opposition Leader Premadasa Raises Concerns over Harassment by Foreign Micro-Finance Lenders”

During today’s parliamentary session, Leader of the Opposition, Sajith Premadasa, voiced serious concerns over the alleged harassment of local borrowers by foreigners engaged in micro-finance activities.

Premadasa claimed that these foreign lenders, often on visit visas, exploit borrowers by charging exorbitant interest rates as high as 300 percent. He further highlighted that these lenders engage in intrusive practices such as taking photographs of borrowers and publicizing them on social media. Additionally, they reportedly employ threats against other lenders and disrupt families by making false accusations of illicit affairs.

Expressing his dismay, Premadasa revealed that, after consulting with Central Bank Governor Nandal Weerasinghe, it was disclosed that a legal gap hinders taking immediate action against such lenders.

In response, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe assured that the Micro Finance Amendment Bill, already presented to Parliament, aims to address and rectify these issues. Semasinghe emphasized the urgency of focusing on this matter, stating that failure to do so could result in a serious problem related to those engaged in microfinance activities.

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