Budget 2012 Development-friendly – Business Chambers
The business chambers hailed the 2012 Budget as a development -
friendly budget focused on sustaining economic growth and enhancing
benefits for small and medium sector enterprises which are the backbone
of the country’s economy.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in a statement said the 2012
Budget maintains the consistent fiscal framework announced two years ago
since the end of terrorism in 2009. The fiscal deficit has been reduced
to 6.2 percent of the GDP in line with the medium-term projections. The
budget aims at sustaining the eight percent economic growth rate next
year as well.
“The CCC is pleased to note that tax reforms introduced in the last
budget had been upheld in this budget as well with additional incentives
to promote investments and a few further simplifications to the tax
structure”, CCC sources said.
The Chamber considers the move to depreciate the Sri Lankan rupee as
a signal to move towards a flexible and a more competitive exchange rate
is being vital for the growth of exports which would bear on Sri Lanka,
achieving investments and growth targets.
The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) welcomes the
2012 Budget that has given priority to develop small and medium sector
enterprises which accounts for over 80 percent of the export sector.
NCCSL hailed the proposals to provide tax concessions and incentives
for the SME sector which makes a salient contribution to the economy.
NCCSL President Asoka Hettigoda said that the National Chamber which
promotes development of SME’s welcomes the concessions to the sector.
The Chamber welcomes the depreciation of the rupee by three percent
which will help exporters to be competitive in the global market. The
Chamber also recognises the importance of continuing infrastructure
development and incentives to develop human capital.
“Reducing the threshold to Rs. 25 million with a four-year tax
holiday will encourage SMEs thereby promoting rural development”,
Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka (FCCSL), President
Kumar Mallimarachchi said the 2012 Budget has focused on promoting the
SME sector with tax concessions and credit facilities which are vital to
boost the growth of the sector.
“The Chamber welcomes the move to set up state banks for SME lending
in rural cities which will be a huge impetus for the small and medium
sector enterprises which play a key role in rural economic development”,
FCCSL also welcomes the proposals to simplify the tax structure and
create a more conducive environment for foreign investments vital to
stimulate economic growth in the country.
“The depreciation of the rupee is a welcome move which would support
the export sector but implications on balance of payment will need to be
looked into” the chamber chief said.
National Chamber of Exporters Immediate Past President Rohan Fernando
said that while the move to depreciate the rupee is a sound move it
should have been done as a normal course of action.
He said that the Budget proposals are good but they need to filter
down into action which is essential to accelerate development in the
“Bureaucracy must not be a stumbling block to set up new ventures and
promote investments. Bureaucracy must be productivity oriented”,
The NCE welcomes the move to simplify the tax system and the proposal
to provide a 10 percent salary increase to public servants.
The Sri Lanka Chamber of Small Industry President, Aloy Jayawardene
said that the Chamber commends the move to set up state sector bank
branches to facilitate credit for SME entrepreneurs.
“Banks in the regions could set up divisions to serve the SME sector
instead of opening branches only for the SME sector”, he said.
The SLCSI hails the move to import machinery Duty Free to manufacture
items which are imported to Sri Lanka.
Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) CEO/ Secretary General
Dakshitha Thalagodapitiya said the 2012 Budget is a development-
oriented Budget which could facilitate the achievement of eight percent
GDP growth in the medium-term.
He said since high priority has been given to infrastructure
development the Budget offers a large number of business opportunities
to the construction sector.
The Construction Chamber being the largest provider of vocational
training in construction-related crafts, it is pleased to note that the
Budget has focused on vocational education in the construction sector.