Development drive to cover all sectors
The yahapalana Government will launch a development drive covering
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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.