Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, awarded 76 selected top Sri Lankan export achievers Rs 496 m. to compensate for their performance in a difficult 2008 global recession period.
Distributing the awards he said: “I am happy to participate in this occasion of Rewards distribution under the Export Development Reward Scheme which was introduced on the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This scheme was initiated to assist the Sri Lankan exporters to maintain their export performance during the 2008 global economic recession in and the first half of 2009.
“As you are aware, this scheme was administered by the Presidential Special Task Unit on Economic Development under the direction of the President with the assistance of the relevant Government Institutions and Private Sector to facilitate and provide coordinated support to ensure that exporters sustain their exports in global trade and the level of employment amidst the crisis that prevailed.
“This scheme also aimed at assisting our export industries to secure their existing markets, penetrate new markets, establish and promote backward linkages, diversify and increase value addition, maintain the existing level of employment, compliance with environment regulations, quality standards and other best practices in exports.
“Despite numerous challenges faced by the government, the government tried its best to fulfil its commitments to the export community. Today, we are making the final payment of Rs. 493 million to 76 eligible exporters for the second quarter of 2009. Our government is making every effort to create conducive business environment to improve your competitiveness in the global market. At the same time we expect our business community to play a catalyst role in contributing to the development goals of the country. I am confident that the business community will join hands with the government bringing economic prosperity to our nation.