Rs.10 b disbursed to develop industries - Prime Minister | Sunday Observer

Rs.10 b disbursed to develop industries - Prime Minister

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presents the Crystal award to a representatives of Link Natural Products (Pvt) Ltd, winner in the Extra Large Category - National Level manufacturing sector at the CNCI Achiever Awards 2018. Picture Chaminda Niroshana
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presents the Crystal award to a representatives of Link Natural Products (Pvt) Ltd, winner in the Extra Large Category - National Level manufacturing sector at the CNCI Achiever Awards 2018. Picture Chaminda Niroshana

The government has made Rs.10 billion available for all stakeholders prior to setting up the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to develop industries and boost trade, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the gathering at the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) ‘Achiever Awards 2018’ held in Colombo last week.

“The government has released the money for the stakeholders to avail themselves of the funds to develop their enterprises and capture a larger market share in global trade,” the premier said.

He said the Development Finance Corporation will be set up soon to support entrepreneurs to get to the next level of business being major exporters to the global market.

“We want industries to be competitive, stronger and bigger in the coming years. The ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ program will take care of the needs of industrialists,” the premier said.

The Cabinet paper for the DFC is being prepared by the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

The premier also said that a Trade Adjustment Commission will be set up to address issues faced by those in the manufacturing and export sector.

Those facing issues regarding taxes and needing tax concessions could go before the Commission which will be an independent body and solve their problems, the premier said while urging manufacturers to boost productivity and be competitive to forge ahead.

“We are also looking at legislation to provide confidence and assurance to investors. Many in the country are worried that industries will be privatised. The ‘Single Window’ operation for investors will come into force soon to facilitate investments to the country.

Already a committee has been set up and the relevant institutions will need to work with it,” the prime minister said.

He said all these programs must help us expand our global trade. Only a few items avail the GSP Plus concessions. At least another eight to nine items must benefit from the facility. The FTA with Singapore will not be a problem though many perceive it to be so.

Sri Lanka was among the first few countries that opened up the economy and commenced manufacturing much before some of the larger economies in the region today. However, what we need to ask is where are we today compared to China, Taiwan and Korea which have leapfrogged in manufacturing.

The premier said the government is taking steps to support local businesses and industrialists particularly those in rural areas representing the micro, small and medium sectors. We are providing funds for capital requirements, expertise and infrastructure facilities to ensure their stability.

CNCI Chairman Raja Hewabowala said through the Achiever Awards competition the chamber helps industrialists to achieve their targets while respecting social, environmental and business ethics.

The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries set up in 1960 held its Achievers Awards for the 17 consecutive year to recognise and reward industrialists who have excelled in their sectors. 

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