DFCC Bank Energizes Jaffna Reawakening
May 14, 2013
Encourages entrepreneurship to boost local economies in the North and East
The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Mr Nivard Cabraal visiting the Sea Food Processing Plant along with the owner Mr. SebastianpillaI Amalathasan.
DFCC Bank, the pioneer development Bank in the country, together with its retail banking subsidiary Vardhana Bank, has been actively engaged in the economic resurgence of the North and East of the country. In quick succession, nine branches were opened with several more in the pipeline, giving potential entrepreneurs and the public access to financial and advisory services. Established in 1956, DFCC takes its many years of experience and expertise in project financing to the North with a target to help entrepreneurs start up businesses and generate jobs in these areas.
During Jaffna’s golden era DFCC contributed to nurturing some of the best entrepreneurs of the area and a few of them also started doing business in Colombo, building successful enterprises. Once again DFCC is now working towards resuscitating entrepreneurship by conducting seminars and workshops targeted at getting people interested in starting industries, identifying potential sectors, providing knowhow and finance for start up and expansion of small and medium scale businesses.
A recent project which has caught the eye of many is the Annai Sea Foodprocessing factory in Navanthurai, north of Jaffna. Annai Sea Food Trade which is co-owned by Mr. Sebastianpillai Amalathasan and Mr. John Mary has been doing business for nearly 22 years supplying sea food to the local fish market initially and later to some of the leading sea food exporters in the country. The operation was not very big but they continued with difficulty through the war years. Annai Sea Food is one of the first to capitalize on the peace dividend. With a total investment of over Rs. 50 million Mr Sebastianpillai set up the state-of-the-art Crab and Cuttlefish processing plant targeting the export market. This plant is the first ultra modern processing plant to commence operations in the Jaffna District after the end of the war. The plants activities involve cleaning and meat extraction of Crab and Cuttle Fish carried out under internationally accepted hygienic conditions, and supplying the product to local exporters. DFCC Bank guided and financed the venture under a special loan scheme. Not only has this project provided direct employment for 300 people, but it has also contributed to the livelihood of 16 collection centers and the local fishermen from whom the factory directly purchases the raw materials.
“We had a vision to contribute towards the economic development in the Jaffna Peninsula by opening up this technologically advanced plant. Whilst taking the business to the next level, we wanted to create employment opportunities and enhance the lives of the local fishermen who suffered for many years on account of the war. DFCC Bank helped make this vision a reality when they assisted us by providing a special loan scheme at an affordable interest rate. We are truly grateful for the confidence placed in us and the encouragement that we received from the Bank”, observed Mr Sebastianpillai Amalathasan, Co-Partner of Annai Sea Food Trade.
Northern Central Hospital, a 60 bed multi specialist general hospital in the heart of Jaffna is the realization of a vision of Mr S P Samy and his son Dr Keshavarajha. This was one the first projects on which work commenced the year following the end of the war. DFCC supported the project from Colombo pending the opening of its branch in Jaffna. The hospital doors were opened to the public in March 2012 and provide services such as Outpatients Department Service (OPD), Channeling, Cardiology, Neurology & Neurosurgical unit, Rehabilitation unit, Eye, ENT, Dental, Nephrology, Orthopedic, Plastic Surgery & Vascular, Maternity Home and other essentials such as Laboratory, CT scan, Nursing Home for Elders. Ambulance services to transport patients between the hospital and their homes would also be available.
These are only two projects of the many that DFCC has already supported in the past few years. Some others include setting up private educational institutes, construction of guest houses, shopping and office complexes, manufacturing plants for hardware items and furniture, funding road development contractors and supporting grape cultivators.
Northern Central Hospital in Jaffna, one of the first projects to commence work after the war, opened its doors to the public in 2012.