The Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise development Douglas Devananda commissioned a high level task force to recommend a new policy for industrial estates that come under the purview of the Industrial Development Board so that it can help stimulate a new wave of enterprise development in Sri Lanka under the new policy guidelines given by the ‘Mahinda Chinthana – Idiri Dekma’ said the Minister.
The Minister made this announcement after visiting the Industrial Estate of Horana which is considered to be placed in a location that has the most conducive business environments to conduct business as per a research survey done by Asia Foundation some years back on the Economic Governance Index.
A typical EGI include attributes such as registration/permits/licences, land access/property rights, transparency/participation, regulation/compliance, costs/infrastructure/business services, taxes, legal institution/conflict resolution, government attitude towards business, informal charges-favouritism/discrimination and crime/security.
The EGI Index is computed in a country on the above attributes and the Minister inquired from the enterprises that have been set up at the Horana Industrial Estate their experience on the above attributes in doing business in Horana.
The Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise development is a key ministry that helps the SME sector in the country by way of driving in a culture under an incubations system such as Industrial Parks across the country from Pallakelle to Vavuniya and extends up to Jaffna, the recent being the one set up in Atchuweli in the North of Sri Lanka.
This new directional thinking stemmed from the Ministers visit to the Ekala Industrial Estate earlier in the year where a positive cash flow of 3.2 million in the month of July was made and Horana was on track to be another industrial estate to follow suit, said the Ministry in a communiqué.
The Minister emphasised that under a post war Sri Lanka where the economy is being boosted with a 7% plus economic growth a new thinking of looking at business opportunities must set into a countries administrative structure. Which is why a new tax system will be in place and similarly a new SME development plan must come into play in the country.
Minister Devananda highlighted how the Jaffna enterprises were kept alive even in the most difficult situations when the ground operation was in full force to liberate the country from the clutches of terrorism and similarly now a new policy frame work can help propel the country to a new growth strategy like in the Industrial Estates that are in play in the country.
The high powered committee appointed by the Minister is headed by V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary to the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development. Other members of the committee include the Minister’s Advisor the (former Secretary) V. Jegarasasingam, Corporate personality and former head of the National Council for Economic Development and current Board Director IDB Rohantha Athukorala, the Chairman of IDB Udaya Kariyawasam, the President of the SME Chamber, Representatives of the Ministry of Industries and Commerce and University of Sri Jayawardenepura.
The key officials of the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise development will support the secretariat functions and provide linkages with the other relevant ministries.