Advocata Chief Operating Officer Dhananath Fernando won the Asia Think Tank Shark championship in Jakarta for a research study on ‘Cost of Construction and protectionism’.
Asia Think Tank Shark Tank is a championship for Asians to pitch their ideas on creating impact on public policy for helping economic prosperity in Asia.
Dhananath contested in the final round with two fellow contestants from Nepal and Indonesia and won the Asia Think Tank Shark Tank Championship title with US$ 10,000 project grant for Sri Lanka to conduct the study.
Dhananath made a strong case on the high cost of construction in Sri Lanka and highlighted that more than 10 million Sri Lankans will be benefited if the border taxes were brought down which are unbelievably and unfairly high at the moment.
He explained the total taxes at the border on wall tiles and floor tiles which is 108 percent, construction steel which is 90 percent and sanitary ware (commodes, squatting pans) which is 72 percent is completely unfair for a country where about 10 million people dreaming in their entire life to build a basic house. He further highlighted that cost of construction is 40 percent - 60 percent higher in Sri Lanka compared to the religion which has negatively impacted the entire construction industry.
Dr. Chatib Basri, the Former Finance Minster of Indonesia and Ash Centre Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School - Harvard University, Prof. Razeen Sally from National University of Singapore, Linda Whetstone- Chair person at Atlas Network,Terry Kibbe – CEO and co-founder of Free the people in United States, Siegfried Herzog Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia in Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom were in the panel of judges.
Dhananath is currently the Chief Operating Officer and a founding member of Advocata Institute. He is a volunteer at Candle Aid Lanka a humanitarian organization and a member of the founding team since the inception of ‘AK Lit Fest’ the platform for local literature lovers.
He hosts two flagship TV shows on ART Television namely ‘Public Space Sri Lanka’ and ‘Wake Up with ART’. He is a graduate from Atlas Leadership Academy, Washington DC and a Graduate from University of Colombo in Bio Science and Bio Chemistry.