North and the East await welfare, development drive – Jaffna Chamber head | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

North and the East await welfare, development drive – Jaffna Chamber head

28 March, 2021
Steven Leonard
Steven Leonard

Ravaged by the three-decade-long battle against terrorism, impoverished further by political indifference on their economic welfare after the end of terrorism and having remained inhibited under the pandemic threat, the people of the North and the East now look up to the Government for programs on their social and economic welfare.

They need development programs encompassing the various sectors that would contribute to their economic upliftment and relieve them from their decades-long state of poverty, said Chairman, Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yalpanam (CCIY),  Stephen Leonard. They are working closely with government authorities on reviving the various sectors that would contribute to the socio-economic improvement of the North and the East, now that the pandemic is seemingly waning.

They held talks last week with Northern Province Governor Ms P.S.M. Charles on making the KKS cement factory re-functional but the proposal was dropped due to objections on excavating large quantities of limestone which, in turn, would have adverse geo-environmental impact, Leonard said.    

More programs have to be implemented to take advantage of the huge marine resources. Fishermen have to be imparted training in using the multi-day boats and going deep sea fishing which, in  turn, would increase the amount of the harvest and income several fold, Leonard said.The average price of a multi-day boat is in the tune of Rs. 30 million and there are programs already in place to provide a 50 percent subsidy. Fisheries associations should form companies to purchase multi-day boats, he said. Poaching and prohibited methods of fishing including dynamiting, bottom-trawling and using certain types of fishing nets which destroy breeding grounds and huge quantities of tiny fishes, he said.

The Government should also implement programs to boost the tourist industry, vast production of export-oriented vegetables and crops and industries using the locally available, Leonard said.

The elected representatives of the people of the North and the East have their obligations by the people who elected them and, therefore, they should get involved in the socio-economic  uplift of the people, he said.