40-fold returns on investment:
Ratmalana Industrial Zone tops $ 18 m turnover in 2011
The Ratmalana Industrial Zone (RIZ) where 2012 US BID Quality award
winner Elcardo Industries is based, has reported $ 18 m (Rs 2,500 m)
turnover in 2011. “We salute the international achievement of Elcardo
Chairman Rohan Weeraratne which brought honour to RIZ and our
The $ 456,000 initial investment by the Industry Ministry in RIZ
since 1998 has paid off and it also reaped revenue of 40 times of
initial investment in 2011 showing that RIZ is another success in our
industry zone scheme,” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry of
“Our initial estimates of revenue for 2011 are $ 18 million but we
believe it could be more, almost in the range of $20 million” he said.
Minister Bathiudeen made these observations in the aftermath of his
sudden site tour to the Ratmalana Industrial Zone (RIZ) under his
Ministry on June 22.
During the unannounced visit, the minister made a close inspection of
the operations of the zone and also inquired of the wellbeing and issues
faced by zonal industrialists.
Rohan Weeraratne won the International Quality Summit Award in the
Gold Category at the annual awards ceremony held in New York recently at
the Mariott Marquis Convention Hall. Jose E. Prieto, President of the US
based Business Initiative Directions (BID), which has members from 178
countries, handed over the award to Weeraratne.
RIZ was started by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in 1998 and
to-date, the ministry’s investments and upgrade outlay for RIZ totals Rs
61.03 million ($ 456,000).
The zone, which has manufacturing sectors such as steel, toiletries,
herbals, and stationery, has two phases spread across 16 acres (6.47
Among the manufacturers successfully operating are Elcardo Industries
Ltd (steel/roller doors), Phoenix Tradeing (heavy earth moving
machinery), Siddhalepa Ayurveda Exports (herbal products), Luck herbs
Lanka (lquid soaps), Seamaice (napthaline), Dynamic Technologies (road
tankers), Asian Chill Equipment (supermarket displays), Deto Surfacts
(industry detergents), Tiljay Computer Forms, and Petropackaging (good
RIZ Industrialists, who greeted the minister informed him that they
are making profits but complained of an odd taxation regime implemented
by the Dehiwela Mount Lavinia Municipality, within which the RIZ is
located. “As industrialists of the RIZ we are not sure on what basis we
need to pay a tax for production capital,” they said.
According to Rohan Weeraratne, the BID award winning Chairman of
Elcardo, the municipality has imposed a tax on new machineries installed
by all manufacturers in the zone. “The taxes appear to be imposed
arbitrarily with no one paying a standard rate. I myself have to pay a
hefty tax for installing new machinery in my factories which I believe
is unfair. We believe that this tax is against the industrial
development policies of the government,” Weeraratne said. Minister
Bathiudeen directed officials to look into the matter.