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Surath welcomes PM’s policy statement; wants role for locals in Megapolis project

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:48


Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) President Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe has welcomed Prime Minister’s Ranil Wickremesinghe’s economic policy Statement of last week but has called for greater role for locals in the upcoming Megapolis project.

Following is the full text of the CCI statement.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Economic Policy Statement is a refreshing concept giving a new dimension to Sri Lanka’s future development perspective. He covers several sectors, but I will comment on some of the issues relevant to the construction industry.

We are delighted that he was bringing a new legal framework to override the “bottlenecks” that will facilitate rapid development for investment promoting public private partnership models, income tax relief on earnings from consultancy services and construction projects undertaken overseas. He has also mentioned about tourism in a comprehensive manner for its development in the country.

Furthermore, the inclusion of the policy for developing the different regions in the country to achieve balanced development is a laudable commitment. However, our particular concern is that, if the implementation or the planning of the Megapolis is confined to foreign firms and officials without all the stakeholders including the private sector chambers, not participating will lead to post implementation issues of the plan.

A good example is the Mahaweli Development Project. Did we make adequate value addition from this mega investment in infrastructure, to get a higher return on the Investment? I personally feel it was not achieved after the plans were implemented, specially optimising on the one million acres which was liberated for agriculture and other activities.

Therefore, even in the Megapolis development, all stakeholders including local authorities, water, power, transport and other infrastructure service providers and all private sector chambers and other specialists in the respective disciplines should play an active role to ensure that the Prime Minister’s economic miracle could be made real and sustainable.

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