Budget 2018 has NCCSL support | Daily News

Budget 2018 has NCCSL support

‘Yes’ to removal of beer tax; backs price reduction of ‘gal’ arrack
NCCSL President Sujeeve Samaraweera,  Deputy President Nadeeka Buddhipala, Secretary General/CEO Bandula Dissanayake and other officials. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
NCCSL President Sujeeve Samaraweera, Deputy President Nadeeka Buddhipala, Secretary General/CEO Bandula Dissanayake and other officials. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

National Chamber of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) said that they are happy with the 2018 Budget and said that it has several meaningful proposals that would encourage business development in the country.

“It’s not an election-oriented Budget and is not a one with lot of ‘goodies’. It has long-term policies and proposals that would help leap frog the economy,” said NCCSL President Sujeeve Samaraweera.

“We sincerely expect successful implementation of these efforts by the Government which is an important imperative towards achievement of the objectives of the Budget moving forward.” “However, it would be challenging for the government to provide an enabling environment to implement the said proposals and NCCSL would monitor the progress of implementation and provide an assessment next year,” Samaraweera said.

Speaking at event held their auditorium to analyze the Budget, he said that the introduction of the new concept “Enterprise Sri Lanka” is praiseworthy.

Asked to comment on the concerns of the shipping industry, he said that the government must open up the industry to foreign companies, but must also look after the interests of the Lankan companies as well. “We hope the government and stakeholders of the shipping industry would have more discussions in this regard before the final implantation.”

When asked what they feel about the ‘Madamulana tax’, he said that they feel that the government must be consistent on taxes.

Additionally, the government is proposing to set up a development bank to support the financial needs of the SME Sector by allocating Rs 10 billion.

Asked if the NCCSL is for the removal of tax on beer cans, Bandula Dissanayake, Secretary General/CEO, NCCSL, said ‘yes’ and that they also support the request made by others to reduce the price of the bottle of ‘gal’ arrack.

 The Government is suggesting trade liberalization measures by introducing around 1,200 para tariff lines to be removed which would bring in both a positive and negative impact on the economy.

“The IT sector has been given greater attention with the intention of increasing foreign earnings reaching US$ 5 million in the years to come. Under this programme, small to medium IT start-up companies are to be supported by allocating Rs. 3 billion over the next five years through the Export Development Board and we also expect some of the three-wheeler drivers who are tech savvy to diversify to IT-related businesses,” said Deputy President, NCCSL, Nadeeka Buddhipala.

The National Chamber observes the policy inconsistency in revenue streams of the government; the expectation of the business community was to have a consistent mid-term policy on government revenue streams rather than short-term ad-hoc revenue policies such as the debt payment levy imposed on the banking sector and levy on telecom towers.

Under the Blue Economy programme the encouragement extended for deep sea

fishing and infrastructure facilities’ development proposals for the fisheries sector is also appreciated, the NCCSL said.

Meanwhile, the Budget speech has confirmed that the government would introduce anti-dumping laws in the near future, which would be a positive measure in protecting domestic industries.

“As the National Chamber, we appreciate measures taken through the Budget in these areas which has been consistent emphasis of ours during last couple of years,” the NCCSL said.



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