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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

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SL's per capita income to reach US $ 4,400 in 2015

Sri Lanka would increase its per capita income from the current US $ 2,399 in 2012 to US $ 4,400 in 2015. The country would also develop fast and would have a growth rate of around 9% during the period said Dr. T. Lalitha Gunaruwan, Senior Lecturer (Economics), University of Colombo, Speaking at the 'Railways for Our Future' seminar organized by the Institute of Supply and Material Management (ISMM) at the OPA Auditorium he said that the demand for logistics and transport would experience enormous pressure. Doubling of per-capita income by 2015 will lead to parallel increase of value of time.

"By doubling the per capita income people will look forward to more quality and comfort and also be more competitive, with wider choice, efficient and quick access," he said.

Dr Gunaruwan predicted that local ports would have to handle double the number of container movements.

"Therefore demand on logistics can expect to double and pressure on the entire supply chain would double. Domestic trade also would have an up-word pressure," he said.

Export value of tea will increase from US $1.3 billion to US $ 2.5 billion doubling its volumes. Rubber and cinnamon and spices too would increase from US $ 600 million to US $1.2 billion which would also double the volumes.

"Apparels and allied industry too would increase from US $ 3.5 billion to five billion US dollars," he predicted.

Commenting on the tourism industry he said that it is expected to grow by three folds from US $ 600 million to US $ 2 billion. "This will force the necessity for travel facility expansion and number of vehicles on the roads will increase," he said.

"Therefore government needs to shift away from its implicit 'cars first' policy to 'trains first' policy.

"It is important to identify competitive advantage in sub-urban passenger transportation, long distance fast express passenger services, long distance freight transportation and hazardous risky goods transportation," he said.

A Malaysian company has already planned to build Sri Lanka's first speed rail link from the Colombo airport to Fort and plans are under way to extend this up to Gampaha.

Thus needy areas and investment should be determined in a prioritized basis identifying the productivity of the system.

Also focus on structural issues, avoid interference and take economic decisions, and performance-based management structure is imperative, while safeguards are kept intact.

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