More benefits for industrial, tourism development in budget
President Mahinda Rajapaksa entertained views of officials and
experts of different disciplines during pre-budget discussion yesterday
Centred on investments and problems in the tourist trade and solutions.
It was revealed that an investment targeting US$ 734 million could be
realised and during the first six months of the year alone $ 425 million
was invested for industrial development.
It was also revealed that an acute shortage of skilled workers
prevailed in the newly established and expanded industries for which BoI
approval have been obtained. About 5,000 vacancies exist in the
industrial sector, it has been found.
President Rajapaksa said the budget would offer solutions to these
problems and instructed to shift the industries to rural areas so that
the shortage of the skilled labour could be eliminated. The next budget
would consider improving infrastructure such as roads, electricity,
water etc in the rural areas, he said.
The President instructed officials to initiate action to promote
tourist arrivals from China and the Middle East.
The tourist industry is the fourth foreign exchange earner in the
country providing direct and indirect employment for over 800,000
In response to requests by the Ceylon Hotels Corporation, tourist
operators and small and medium-scale tourist entrepreneurs, it was
decided to provide a grace period for the repayment of loan and also to
launch several programmes to promote the tourist inflow.
Ministers John Seneviratne, Milinda Moragoda, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya
and Faizer Mustafa, Presidential Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga and
several officials participated.