Views of biz community:
Benefits will support five-hub concept- Central Bank Governor
The 2015 Budget received overwhelming commendation from the business
community and civil society for the support extended to boost small and
medium sector enterprises (SMEs), the backbone of the economy.
Budget 2015 has emphasised SME development
Top corporate personalities hailed the budget for the consistence in
government policy to accelerate economic growth through the SME sector
which makes a salient contribution to rural livelihood development and
Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that President
Mahinda Rajapaksa presented a solid road map with a clear policy
direction under the Mahinda Chintana - forward vision to expedite
economic growth through all sectors to reach the per capita income of
US$ 7,500 mark by 2020 and and a US$ 100 billion economy.
“This is not an election gimmick as branded by some. The 2015 Budget
has taken into account all sectors and it is a development oriented
budget focusing on passing down the benefits of economic growth to
peripheries of the country.
The benefits of growth should trickle down to all and if not there is
no point in all our efforts,” Cabraal said.
The benefits to boost the farming community, plantation, SME
industries, steps to stimulate growth in the tourism industry through a
Rs. 17 billion commitment to renovate the airports, kapruka loan scheme,
Divineguma benefits for home garden development, pension scheme for
apparel sector and migrant workers will help achieve the goals envisaged
The 2015 Budget has provided a host of benefits to support the five
hub concept with special emphasis on promoting knowledge economy through
sound education in information technology literacy improvement, setting
up Nanasala centres at all Divisional Secretariats.
The Governor said that the budget will give direction to achieve the
eight percent economic growth, single digit inflation, boosting
reserves, low interest rates and reaching US$ 7500 per capita income by
The business community also commended the move to maintain a budget
deficit of 4.5 percent which would be a huge achievement to focus
attention on developing the infrastructure and accelerating growth.
Industrial Development Board Chairman ad former Federation of
Chambers of Commerce President Nawaz Rajabdeen said that the 2015 Budget
has offered a host of benefits to develop the industrial sector with
special emphasis on SME development. The proposal to set up 300
factories at all Divisional Secretariats , loans schemes for SMEs to
boost exports, reduction in electricity tariffs and pension schemes for
apparel sector, farmer loans will help take SME industries to get to the
next level of business to be large scale exporters.
“The IDB will form an association to bring all SME industries under
one umbrella to focus on exports .The Archchuveli industrial zone has
commenced operation and it provides a large number of employment
opportunities to youth in the North”, Rajabdeen said.
Chevron Lubricants PLC, CEO Kishu Gomes said that the budget has
shown consistence in policy with should be commended as a vital factor
to develop business through a stable and conducive business environment.
“We hail the moves to support the public sector through increase in
minimum wages to Rs, 25,000 which will increase the purchasing power of
people which would benefit the economy.
The macro economic fundamentals are strong with a stable currency
rate, low inflation and reduction in debt to GDP rate”, Gomes said.
He also said that though there in no special emphasis on the business
community consistency of policy should be hailed.
National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka President Sunil Wijesinghe
said that the budget has emphasised SME development through special
loans schemes to promote cottage industries and home garden projects
which will boost income of rural masses.
He said while thee service sector development is vital we should not
forget the role of the industrial sector.
The triple reduction on training should e hailed as there is a sever
mismatch of skills which is a major draw back to be competitive.
If we are to compete in the global market we need to focus on
developing modern technology, setting up sate of the art laboratories
with our own accreditation systems and standards.
NDB Group CEO Rajendra Theagarajah said that the 2015 Budget is a SME
development budget and added that it will help create a vibrant SME
sector. He said that low interest rate regime could hit the senior
citizens. Widening the tax base is a good move. Country Director, Turner
Investments (USA) Dr. Rohantha Athukorala said that one of the key
challenges of the industrial sector this year was the high production
cost, The budget proposal to address this by way of the cost reduction
in gas, electricity and fuel was a good move towards increasing industry
This will help the export industry and the SME sector. Now we need
consistency of such long term policies”
The proposals to promote healthcare, free seed paddy for farmers,
reduction in water tariffs, VAT reduction from 12 percent to 11 percent,
payee tax reduction, concessionary loans for purchasing of motorcycles
for postmen men and servicemen through were hailed by the business