MNC boost for Mahinda Budget

Friday, 26 November 2010 02:50 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

If glowing reviews already from private sector aren’t enough then President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Budget 2011 got a further boost when the CEO of a top Multi-National Corporation (MNC) joined the chorus though on a Government platform. Chevron Lubricants Lanka CEO and Managing Director Kishu Gomes, who is also a young business leader, was a surprise speaker for the media who attended the Government Information Department announced press conference yesterday.

Speaking at the conference titled “Vidwath Kathikawa” or intellectuals’ forum, Kishu backed the Budget as being progressive and pro-private sector for introducing a range of tax cuts and spurring investment.

Kishu represented the views of the private sector while Economist Dr. Ranjith Bandara and Central Bank Economic Research Department head K.D Ranasinghe represented the public sector.

As per most analysts it was the first time a CEO of a MNC or a popular business leader had come to a press briefing at Government Information Department to hail the Budget 2011.

Following hot on the heels of the positive sentiments expressed by many top guns in both the private and public spheres Kishu reiterated the positive points of the Budget insisting that it gave companies the confidence to expand and increase investment.

He said that the listed as well as the non-listed major companies would take full advantage of the tax benefits provided by the Government and assist to fast track development.

“There is no greater benefit from the Budget than these tax cuts. They have streamlined the system and there will be a significant drop in transaction costs as a result. The drop in motor taxes and mobile charges in particular can be seen as very positive,” he stressed adding that decreasing corporate taxes as well as allowing banks to lend more would spur growth.

He was quick to commend the President’s call for an efficient public sector stating that unless the State sector supports the private sector the latter cannot grow. With the pension problems addressed and taxes for EPF returns reduced the people have the chance to save more for the future, Kishu opined.

These positive views were backed by Dr. Bandara and Ranasinghe who also commended the “farsighted” approach of the Budget and dismissed accusations of it being purely for the rich. “Raising salaries does not result in long term growth. Increasing wages without increasing the supply of goods and services into the market would only increase inflation and devalue the rupee,” remarked Dr. Bandara saying that this was a Budget formulated to add more “dishes to the meals of the future generations.”           


AmCham hails Budget

The American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AmCham) in a statement said it welcomes the 2010 Budget and the changes contained therein to the nation’s fiscal and monetary frameworks.

“The reduction of taxes in the banking and financial sectors and the medium term fiscal strategy is a positive feature. This marks the biggest overhaul of economic policy in recent years and it will encourage the creation of a business-enabling environment for all sectors,” the statement issued by AmCham Sri Lanka President Vijaya Ratnayake said.


“AmCham is confident that with focused implementation of the Budget proposals, the country will be able to achieve the desired development results,” he added.