Boost security and restore normalcy - Biz community | Sunday Observer

Boost security and restore normalcy - Biz community

The business community has called on the government to step up security and restore normalcy in the country as the overall impact on the economy by the recent terrorist attacks could have a far reaching chain effect on all sectors of the economy.

They said that people need to be assured that the government machinery to safeguard people from acts of terrorism is effective and that all political parties work together to accord the highest priority to national issues.

A spokesman for the Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association said the present situation in the country has a chain effect on the entire business community which is reeling under the aftershocks of the terrorist attacks.

Importers and wholesalers function on a credit basis and under such a scenario they cannot proceed with their usual business as there is no cash flow to sustain operations. Similarly, exporters from other countries are reluctant to ship goods to Sri Lanka due to lack of security, goods being held up in ports and delay in payments.

“The hotel sector being affected is a major blow to importers and wholesale traders who have to restrict imports and supply of goods. This has resulted in businessmen finding it difficult to pay salaries to employees,” the spokesman for the Association said.

The Colombo Business Association (CBA) at a media briefing early in the week, said traders had to pay demurrage as they were unable to clear goods from ports in time.

“Many of us have opened Letters of Credit and now we are in a precarious situation as celebrations to mark Vesak have been cancelled. We appeal to the government to provide some relief to traders who are currently in dire straits,” CBA representatives said.

Traders said they are unable to transport goods as many of the drivers have not returned from their villages due to the security situation in the country. There has also been a marked drop in goods coming to Colombo due to lack of transportation.

Meanwhile several business chambers have proposed five points to the Government to improve security and revive the economy. The proposals include national security, revival of the economy, decision making in government, overall revival and effective communication and management of perceptions.

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in a letter addressed jointly to the President and Prime Minister said that it is concerned over the events that resulted in the senseless acts of terrorism that claimed the lives of so many people were able to be carried out due to the negligence of the Government machinery.

“It’s vital to fast track a revival of the economy and formulate a national policy for the revival of the major sectors (such as tourism) that are currently affected. Adopt an inclusive process that secures inputs from all stakeholders for this purpose,” the letter further stated.