Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 22 November 2015





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Development drive to cover all sectors

The yahapalana Government will launch a development drive covering all sectors.

It is fully committed to reactivate all services and production processes and improve exports for better returns where logistics will be the most important thing, Deputy State Enterprise Development Minister Eran Wickramaratne told the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport International Conference 2015 in Colombo.The country has to improve the transport and logistics sector in a sustainable manner.

The megalopolis plan incorporates the master transport plan for Colombo, he said.

At present, development opportunities are emerging in the transport and logistics sector because Sri Lanka is to become an aviation, naval, knowledge, energy and commercial hub.

Two major areas, naval and aviation are under the transport and logistics industry and have a bigger role to play in developing the country.

The Customs and ports need to fully adopt to electronic document processing as a matter of urgency, to increase the accuracy, speed and integrity of the logistics process.

Sri Lanka’s soft infrastructure looks archaic compared to competing nations, and improving the soft infrastructure is a matter of priority for the government, the Minister said.

There are a number of government ministries involved in managing logistics in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, and SriLankan Airlines Cargo come under different ministries.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, and SriLankan Airlines Cargo come under different ministries.

He queried whether there is coordination in the way the Ministries of Ports, Transport and Public Enterprises operates with regard to Sri Lanka’s logistics.

Corruption can avert the reform that can truly improve a business. Keeping it electronic helps us to also deal with corruption problems that are endemic in this sector, he said and added that many people across the world think that corruption - such as a bribes can grease the wheels of the system. People in logistics might not think there is a problem in making payments to get things done - something as basic as getting a document. However, in the long term, corruption prevents progress.

He said that Sri Lanka has tried to make the transition to electronic processing for over 20 years, but people who are beneficiaries of the incumbent system generally block it. As a result, Sri Lanka’s logistics won’t be as competitive as it could be on the global scale. Good governance will come into other areas of logistics as well, and we should look into issues such as the role of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority as a regulator and an operator.

The government has an important role to play in developing soft infrastructure, However, it is the private sector that should drive the process.

“The investment in physical infrastructure that has taken place is valuable for the logistics industry and will continue. But it is not sufficient. It is important to develop soft infrastructure to achieve world-class standards. We need to invest more in human resources, technology, and the systems that drive the success of logistics,” the Deputy Minister said.

In a world that is increasingly interconnected, the success and resilience of Sri Lanka’s economy will depend in part on its ability to contribute and integrate to these interconnections. The logistics industry, therefore, is constantly growing in importance and Sri Lanka is investing in and growing its logistics industry, because this is essential for success.

Chairman, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka (CILT), Niral Kadawatharatchie called on the government to revisit the Customs Ordinance of 1869 to address multiple issues faced by the local shipping and logistics industry.

The provisions of the Ordinance are not compatible with the global maritime and logistics activities in today’s context, he said.

The government must create a platform to facilitate the free movement of goods across borders and do away with cumbersome and lengthy Customs procedures.

He said the government should go ahead with projects such as rehabilitation of railway tracks and rail system electrification.

Kadawatharatchie said that the proposed transport master plan for Colombo city is in hibernation and called on the government to implement the project as soon as possible.

The transport and logistics sectors’ contribution to the economy is 10 percent and it accounts for employee participation of 12 to 14 percent of the workforce in the country, he said.

Passenger transport has to be seen more as a service than a business and freight and passenger transport should be a reliable. Incorporating IT into the transport and logistics sector will help to provide information accurately and quickly to the people.


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