Rs. 3 billion to develop ICT sector | Sunday Observer

Rs. 3 billion to develop ICT sector

The Government will promote a knowledge based economy for the development of the country during the next decade, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a recent ICT Forum.

In this regard the country should produce skilled and talented people in the IT, communications, logistics and manufacturing sectors to create a knowledge based economy. To achieve this objective it is proposed to make Sri Lanka a hub in the ICT, logistics, manufacturing, transport, and tourism sectors.

The Prime Minister said that Budget 2018, under its IT initiative, will allocate Rs. 3 billion to the ICT sector over the next three years by way of grants, equity investments, credit facilities, mentoring and technical support for local startups, to attract foreign startups, create an enabling environment to support the establishment of incubators, as well as to enable SME IT companies to double their revenue in three years. For this purpose Rs. 3 million has been set apart for 2018 to implement various activities.

Stating that the ICT sector is a catalyst to realise export targets of the country, the Prime Minsiter urged the timely use of budget allocations for industry development, and pledged more allocations in the coming years based on good performance.

He stressed on the need to exhaust the Rs. 300 million allocation for 2018 in a meaningful manner, and request for more funds, which the government is prepared to provide.

The Prime Minister also stated that an extent of land has been allocated in Weligama bordering Matara to set up two training centres for IT and for logistics. The forum organised by the National Chamber of Exporters discussed issues pertaining to information technology and its role in the modern organsation.