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Sunday, 4 July 2010

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Private sector hails budget

The private sector said the 2010 Budget has focused on infrastructure development which is highly beneficial to attract foreign investment and accelerate economic growth.

Sarath De Silva Dakshitha Thalagodapitiya

Director, Financial Services Academy, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and Senior Lecturer, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Dr. Dissa Bandara said the 2010 Budget is focused on developing infrastructure, which is an essential component in driving economic growth.

“Good infrastructure helps attract local and foreign investments which is needed to achieve the economic targets envisaged in the Budget”, he said.

Chairman, Shipping, Ports and Aviation Committee of the National Chamber of Commerce, Sujeeva Samaraweera said infrastructure development has been emphasised in the 2010 Budget which is vital to develop aviation, shipping and logistics in the country.

“The program to develop the road network, ports and aviation and railway should be expedited and funds for the projects should be effectively used”, he said.

CEO/Secretary General, Chamber of Construction Industry, Dakshitha Thalagodapitiya said the thrust of the 2010 Budget is on construction and reconstruction activities.The completion of the Colombo-Katunayake Highway, Outer Circles and the Southern Expressway will help improve connectivity for effective transportation.

“Steps taken to do away with the operation of multiple taxes, promote a simple and broadbased low tax regime and encourage more companies to list in the Colombo Stock Exchange should be commended”, Thalagodapitiya said.

Chartered Accountant and Partner, Gajma and Company, N.R. Gajendran said the eight percent economic growth rate to be achieved is good, but there should be measures to curb government expenditure.

“More revenue generating sources should be sought to bridge the budget deficit which is expected to be around eight percent of the GDP”, he said. Secretary General, Joint Apparel Association Forum, Rohan Masakorala said the government has addressed a fundamental issue of the economy by proposing to curb the budget deficit by eight percent of the GDP.

Director General/CEO, Employers Federation of Sri Lanka, Ravi Peiris said the Federation is happy that the Government has not intervened in the revision of private sector wages which is dependant on the capacity of the employer and the market forces.

“The private sector has a different wage mechanism and the Federation is in the process of revising the minimum wages in industries”, he said.

President, National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Sarath De Silva said that it is an investment and industry friendly budget. It is different compared to the conventional budgets presented in Parliament earlier. This is the first step to reach the export goal of US$ 20 bln export revenue, said de Silva. He said that NCE wanted a larger fertilizer subsidy and he firmly believes that the subsidy given is not restricted to paddy alone as cultivation of all crops need fertilizer. At present the food bill of the country is big and these measures will reduce it substantially.

The country can’t afford a, wage increase at present so he welcomed the Governments decision not to offer a wage increase.

Immediate Past President FCCISL and National Director UNIDO Nawaz Rajabdeen said that expenditure and revenue targets are clearly laid down which is welcome. He said that creating employment and regional development are the solutions to increase the income of the people. The government should support and finance entrepreneurs and start private/public partnerships. Micro and small industries should commence in the North and the East to generate employment.

Nothing substantial is manufactured at present. For example for electrification of the North and the East, all items can be manufactured in the region.

 

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