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.