ICTAD an Authority soon
The long awaited decree to convert the Institute for Construction
Training and Development - ICTAD into an authority has been completed by
the legal draughtsman. It will be presented to the Attorney General and
then to Parliament, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and
Construction, S.R Kannaganayagam, told the media.
When implemented, the succeeding Construction Industry Authority will
have the authorisation to promote the growth and effectiveness of the
domestic construction industry.
The construction industry has played a major role in the Sri Lankan
economy and social development, Kannaganayagam said. Its contribution to
the GDP had been around 6-7 percent and annual growth rate around 7
The construction industry accounts for more than 50 percent of the
Gross Domestic Capital Formation (GDCF) of the country. It contributes
to about 6 percent of total employment.
The direct employment of this sector is about 400,000 and indirect
employment approximately 25,000, while it is estimated that 700,000
people are engaged in construction and related fields, he said.
There is a severe shortage in human resource at skilled and technical
level in this industry and various factors contribute to it. To attract
more people into this industry, it is necessary to develop a more
comfortable and socially accepted environment for people engaged in the
It is necessary to introduce more mechanised and automated technology
and equipment into the industry. Such inputs, besides attracting more
people into the industry, will also improve the productivity, quality
and timely completion and delivery of the finished construction,
Among other constraints faced by the construction sector is the lack
of funds to purchase the basic construction equipment and the lack of a
means of raising the working capital needed from time to time to meet
the working progress of construction at hand.
There is also slow progress in public investment while there is
competition from overseas construction companies, Kannaganayagam said.
The Mahinda Chinthanaya has pledged to counter these drawbacks, with
the implementation of special programs.
Priority will be given to domestic construction companies to
participate in infrastructure projects. Local constructors will be
afforded a loan scheme to obtain finances needed and for the purchase of
construction equipment. For this, the proposed Lankaputhra Bank will
provide a construction guarantee fund. Vocational skills will be
improved and with it, more people will find gainful employment,
To offset the shortage of sand, metal and timber, environment
friendly material and technology will be introduced.
With a boom in construction visible, employees in the public sector
will have access to a housing loan scheme with very low interest rates.
Persons engaged in foreign employment will be given a special housing
loan with the added contribution of 30 percent by government, through a
mechanism which will be introduced.
Under the "Janasevana" program, 100,000 plots of land will be
allocated to construct houses.
A large scale condominium housing scheme will be implemented in
Colombo of which four large scale residential housing condominiums will
commence soon in Colombo and Kandy.
A special housing scheme has been launched in selected grama sevaka
divisions throughout the country. Less expensive condominium houses will
be built for middle class citizens, Kannaganayagam said.