IDB to provide financial aid to uplift small scale food industries

Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen handing over a certificate to an SME businessman.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen handing over a certificate to an SME businessman.

The 2017 Budget has provided Rs.10 mn to grant financial assistance to uplift small scale food industries in the country, which programme is based on the successful experience gained from the pilot project conducted last year, in the Western Province.

Accordingly, all the initial steps required to conduct this programme in all Districts have already been completed by the IDB and the main objective of this program is to improve the productivity and quality of products of Small Scale Food Industries in Sri Lanka.

Paper advertisements highlighting this programme were published in the Daily News, Lankadeepa and Thinakaran on February 2, 2017. After evaluation of the relevant documents by the Selection Committee, 50 Small Scale Food Industries have been selected to participate in this project during this year.

In addition, the selected beneficiaries will be required to sign agreements with the IDB, confirming their ability to complete the process on or before August 30, 2017.

A minimum of 50% of the project cost is required to be borne by the selected beneficiary. Up to a maximum of Rs. 200,000 can be made to the beneficiary, upon the completion of the project.

The main purpose of this event was signing agreements – IDB and fifty selected beneficiaries and to mark this gracious occasion, an inauguration ceremony has been planned by the IDB at the Ministry auditorium.

The benefits expected by this project was to increase the productivity, product quality and safety in food sector, to promote local food industries to the Global markets, to increase the annual turnover/ production of small food scale industries.

The food industry is one of the emerging industries in Sri Lanka. IDB is a service oriented organization and an industrial facilitator. To promote local SMEs to the global markets and to improve income of SMEs are two objectives of IDB to achieve in year 2020.

In addition to that IDB is the sole agent for providing technology to the new entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. Government intervention is very important and also it makes strengthening the private and public sector partnership.

According to the National Policy Framework for SME development by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, small enterprises grow into large enterprises and large enterprises grow into globally competitive export enterprises.

Therefore, there is a need to diversify the food industry sector by providing financial incentive schemes. Therefore main objective is to improve the productivity in small scale food industries.

Chief Guest, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Chinthaka S. Lokuhetti, Chairman Industrial Development Board of Ceylon, Mahinda Jinasena, Director General, Industrial Development Board of Ceylon, P.L.U. Rathnamalala, Directors, Deputy Directors, small scale food industrialists representing 25 districts participated at this event. 

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