|Friday, 16 May 2003|
Sigiriya group correspondent
Economic Development Regions and the District Economic Commissions under Amended Act of the BOI are not solitary institutions but part and parcel of one solid unitary economic structure under the vision of the Prime Minister's regaining Sri Lanka programme, said the Minister of Central Region Development Tissa Attanayake at a conference held at Hotel Suisse, Kandy.
The Chairman, BOI Central Region Deshamanya Lalith Kotalawala, Administrative Heads of the Central Development Ministry and University Academics were invited to this conference by the Ministry of Central Region Development.
Making special reference to the Central Region Development, the Minister said it is the largest and the most populated among the others. The regions culture and history are some of its treasurers, enriched with an abundance of tapped and untapped natural resources.
Though the Central Region Development Ministry has launched several infrastructure development projects, rural electrification projects, drinking water schemes and health and sanitary development projects, much remains to be done to reach the arch of sustainable development.
In spite of the efforts of the Department of Agriculture, University and public sector, adding innovations on crop productions, livestock, food production, forestry and food science using, bio-technological research, poverty still exists because our research is not market oriented and is a real agro-business exploring new vistas of business channels in the globalised world. Scientists are not businessmen, but their talents could be transferred into the commercial channel with the assistance of the Amended Acts of the BOI, through the District Economic Commission.
This is our aim. Having closer links and a bond with the BOI will help us progress and face the challenges. The BOI is now an authority with greater powers and has become a one stop shop for investor requirements. Let us use these opportunities to get our targets fulfilled to achieve our goals, said the Minister. Deshamanya Lalith Kotalawala said he has been appointed to this position considering his strengths in handling a galaxy of business enterprises totalling 22,000 staff in 110 companies and seven foreign branches.
He said his vision is creating local investor incentives and addressing the issues of the poor through rural agricultural innovations such as tank restoration programmes. Kotelawela said he was elated at the opportunity entrusted in him and would contribute the best to develop his line by encouraging investors to set up industries. I know the woes of the poor and shall address the issues of poverty through the BOI concept.
Secretary of the CRM, E.M.P.H. Elkaduwa said the conference is unique as it has added a new dimension in to the vision of regaining Sri Lanka by converging the efforts of the Central Region Development with the concept of the BOI. He thanked the BOI Chairman, his staff and the other participants.
Produced by Lake House