Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his pre-budget statement on the status of economy and outlining plans for the next year, said today a new set of investment incentives based on Capital Allowances and low tax regime would be introduced.
In a lengthy statement to the House in conformity with a tradition initiated by him last year, the Prime Minister said the government planned to repeal the Export and Import Control Act and bring in new legislation on the lines of Singapore’s (a) Regulation of Imports and Exports Act and (b) Strategic Goods Control Act.
“The current domestic market enterprises also have a greater role to strengthen the economy – in addition to expected Direct Investments of local and foreign origin. They too can add to export volume. The Government will assist them to connect with the Global Value Chain by introducing a Trade Adjustment Package which will include Capital Allowance for new equipment,” he said.
“We can double our personal income levels by 2025 if we set in motion a growth rate of 7% per annum. This rate was achieved in the aftermath of the war in 2009 but the momentum brought on as a dividend of peace did not last,”
He said the garment industry would see a revival when GSP+ returned.
“Agricultural exports have declined as a result of prices for tea and rubber slowing down. It must be noted that in the plantations sector, some of the companies are being run well while others not so. The Government plans to restructure the regional plantations companies by infusing new capital and introducing efficient enterprises,” he said.
Referring to the debt burden, he said the government had decided to swap debt for equity, and the Hambantota port and Mattala airport be run as PPP ventures. He outlined the creating of a Megapolis Development Authority to develop the terrain of the Western Megapolis and urban area of over 8 ½ million people.
“The second North-Eastern development corridor will connect the Eastern Province and the North Central Province to Jaffna linking the Trincomalee Port to the Rajarata. The completion of the Moragahakanda and the Malwatu Oya reservoirs will create new vistas for the country and will result in the region gaining more land for agriculture. It will further result in the historic cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura emerging as modern urban centres. Trincomalee will be urbanized and transformed into a world-class Port City,” he said.(Yohan Perera)