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Strong private sector vital to build vibrant economy: PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stressed the necessity of having a strong private sector, strong manufacturing sector and a strong construction sector to build a strong economy.

He was participating as the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony of Construct 2017 exhibition held at the BMICH.

Addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the notational unity government is committed to building a strong economy.

“We want to build a strong economy for Sri Lanka where people have more money and a better future,” he said.

He added that the infrastructure development must be followed with economic productivity.

The present government is developing the country’s infrastructure which is helping create employment opportunities.

As a result of that we have been able to create jobs manly in the private sector. We have increased foreign investments and provided assistance to start small businesses.

“We have reduced the price of fuel and we have also been able to build 20,000 houses within this period,” the PM said.

“We have provided a pack of nutritious items worth Rs. 20,000 for pregnant mothers and also increased the salaries of public sector employees,” the Prime Minister said.

“These are some of the things that we have done in the last two years. More than that, we have stabilised the economy,” the Prime Minister added.


 When we took over we didn’t have sufficient revenue to service the loans. We were in debt. By 2016, 17 we at least have sufficient revenue to pay loan installments. But we still need more revenue to pay for our recurrent and capital expenditure. That is what we are engaged in.

We have to stabilize economy by increasing revenue and controlling expenditure. In this scenario how we can pay for jobs. That is why we are encouraging large scale private investments. We also want Sri Lankan manufactures to be competitive internationally. We will help you. We are coming up with pay rate adjustment packages.

The new Inland Revenue Bill which is likely to be passed in Parliament by September 6 or 7 will be a good incentive for the next three four years. Because we want make all the investment to create jobs within a short period. We are now looking for at least two to three billion US dollars investments.

We are now signed an agreement and formed a joint venture company for Hambantota. We will do similar to Mattala airport. We have got GSP plus and anyone can go in to the European market. We are looking at free trade agreements with China, India, and Singapore. We are now looking for large scale tourism development projects, establishment of industrial zones. We are signing an agreement with one of the biggest Thai industrial estate company to start an industrial estate in Millaniya. We will be announcing a big tourist resorts in Galle, Matara, etc.

We have enough construction works not only public but private. Within this framework the construction sector has to grow up. We want constructors go out and compete internationally.

We are reducing the government expenditure on buildings because we find that lot of money has been spent for ministry buildings.

The construction sector has become very large because numerous infrastructure projects which were undertaken after the war. The construction sector stakeholders should enhance knowledge and capacities to go out of the country and compete with global competitors.

Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa, Home Affairs Minister Wajira Abeywardane and Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Chandima Weerakkody also participated to the occasion.