Budget: Calls for policy changes and incentives
Biz community on Budget 2017:
The government commenced preliminary work in formulating its second
Budget which will be presented to Parliament in November.
The 2017 Budget aims at creating one million jobs, increasing income,
rural economic development, affirmation of land ownership, as the
midterm targets of the government.
The government targets six percent economic growth and a Budget
deficit of 4.7 percent of the GDP. The other thrust areas are
maintaining State investments between six and eight per cent of the GDP
and an investment of 30 percent of the GDP. The 2016 Budget was
subjected to 16 amendments.
Business Observer spoke to a cross-section of the business community
to find out about the proposals they had made to the government to fast
forward the economy.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in its proposals for the 2017 Budget
states that there should be a shift from profit-based incentives such as
tax holidays to expenditure-based incentives focused on creating new
President, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), Thilak
Godamanna said the NCCSL recommends that a consolidated development bank
be set up to support SMEs with low cost funds and grants from recognized
agencies through the bank to upgrade the sector.
The Chamber calls upon the government to provide incentives to
manufacturers to shift to renewable energy sources to meet energy demand
while providing other utility services at concessionary rates.
Chairperson, Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka,
Rifa Musthapha said the Chamber appeals to the authorities to make
available a percentage of the government procurement and contracts to
women entrepreneurs as in the United States. The Chamber calls for
flexible working hours for women in the private and the government
sectors, grants and low interest loans for industries and green
businesses, long-term lease on lands for new ventures, tax benefits for
green businesses in the manufacturing and service sector, and rural
infrastructure development to expand industries.
The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) in its proposals stresses on
the importance of branding Sri Lankan garments, spices, tea and gem and
jewellery, as the country has inherent strengths in these areas which
will help position it in the global market and increase exports.