The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CEM) headed by the Prime Minister has received new powers to fast-track investment projects.
The CEM was established to make recommendations to the Cabinet of Ministers on implementation of laws and related subjects concerning economic affairs, monetary and financial policy, national investment program, facilitating private sector investments, investments and economic development of the country.
“The proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to introduce a suitable method to make more efficient the implementation of recommendations made by the said committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers,” State Minister for International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe told reporters.
Under the new measure the CEM will be able to engage directly with line ministries and the Board of Investment.
“Other bodies such as the Agency for Development and Agency for International Trade will be able to fast track investment proposals and lobby with different companies. We have to move away from being simply reactive and encourage Government authorities to be more aggressive in marketing Sri Lanka to investors,” Senasinghe added.
The Government is also formulating a land bank as a step to improving foreign investment.
Leasing companies to get State biz windfall
In an attempt to reduce expenses, the Government plans to lease vehicles on five-year contracts instead of purchasing vehicles outright for use by State agencies and State enterprises.
Cabinet Spokesman Gayantha Karunathilake told reporters the Finance Ministry proposes to get vehicles on ‘operating leases’ to support leasing companies.
The system, which has Cabinet approval, is expected to be more efficient and cost-effective than maintaining a large State vehicle fleet.
The vehicles will be returned after 60 months and leasing companies will bear the cost of insurance and maintenance, it was decided.
“The Government spends a considerable amount of money on the purchase and maintenance of vehicles obtained for the use of public sector institutions due to high cost of repairs and the administrative delays.”
“In order to overcome the weaknesses in the system and to reduce the unnecessary cost incurred on maintaining a large vehicle fleet by each and every public institution under the present system and to enhance the efficiency while promoting the leasing industry in the country, the Budget 2016 proposed to introduce an ‘Operating Leasing System’ for obtaining vehicles for eligible officials and pool-vehicles for government institutions and state owned enterprises,” he said.
The proposal made by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to implement the ‘Operating Leasing System’ was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.