Budget helps curtail imports
Sri Lanka can be self sufficient in milk production in three years
and with the newly introduced budget proposal this mark could be even
closer, stakeholders said.
The country’s first milk powder manufacturer Ariyaseela
Wickramanayake told Daily News Business that the new budget proposal
encourages local milk powder production.
“The budget proposal will help to curtail imports of five items: milk
powder, steel, pharmaceuticals, fabric and cement, as it has also
proposed incentives and concessions for new enterprises as well as
expansion of an existing enterprise,” he said. The country should have
five factories with a sufficient number of cows to be self sufficient in
milk within three years. The government should look at curtailing the
import of milk powder to gain this benefit to the country,” he said.
He disclosed that while promoting entrepreneurship of the country
most importantly would pave the way to save US $ 300 million annually.
Wickramanayake said he started manufacturing milk powder, under the
brand name, Palwatte Milk that is already in the market, without any of
these concessions paying a huge amount as taxes. “I can start another
factory with this type of concession,” he said.
Similarly, the country has the potential to 100 percent manufacture
the other four items spelled out in the budget in Sri Lanka.
This also help to create employment to a large number of people.
“This is some thing that has to be done to build our nation and be
less dependent on imports,” he said.
Meanwhile a pioneer gauze manufacturer in the country Lucky
Heendeniya said presently there are 270 members in this market.
“The new concessions will help the industry to improve further and
even enter the export market provided the government do not allow
importation of this product in the future,” he added.
Under the new proposals new enterprises will get a five-year tax
holiday and concessionary tax rate of 12 percent after the tax holiday
period. The new enterprises will qualify for a payment relief of 25
percent of the investment each year of assessment apart from the 12
Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara addressing two post budget
seminar said it is time Sri Lanka woo more investors to start milk
powder, steel, pharmaceutical, fabric and cement factories.
“We have provided concessions to these sectors and it is up to the
local industries to look at joint ventures in this regard,” he added.