NCE which is the only private sector Chamber which exclusively serves Sri Lankan exporters, and represents them with relevant state authorities has formulated and presented budget proposals related to export sector well in advanced to enable the Ministry of Finance to consider and include them in the national budget.
The Chamber has conducted a brainstorming session with sectoral heads of the relevant products and services sectors to discuss their considered views and suggestions to formulate meaningful proposals to facilitate the affects of the government to accelerate exports and achieved national economic development targets. Technical officers from the finance ministry as well as the head of director research of the well known ‘Verité research’ had participate on invitation in the professional panel related to the brainstorming session assisted by NCE President Ramal Jasinghe, Immediate Past President Sarada M. De Silva and Secretary General Mr.Shiham Marikar. Following the brainstorming session chamber has also collected additional information from member exporters and collated the information to justify the benefits of the proposals. The Chamber is planning to conduct a budget proposal analysis forum after the budget read in parliament on November 2018.
The Chamber notes that some of the proposals submitted by the Chamber during the preceding years including the proposals to establish an EXIM bank, strengthening of the Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation, Venture Capital Financing, Assistance for Innovation, and the creation of a Cinnamon Training Academy encompassing the whole value chain of Cinnamon, had been accepted, although such proposals are yet to see light of day. Therefore the Chamber trusts that its proposals will be included in the National Budget and the more importantly implemented to derive the beneficial results.
Among the important new proposals made by the Chamber are the following in outlines: The importance of ‘Branding Sri Lanka’ in the International Market Place; Reduction of cost of working capital for the industrial sector by providing a suitable rebate to banks in respect of interest charged; Tax relief provided to companies to encourage listing in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE); Measures to encourage and facilitate to set up solar power units wherever possible to support power generation, without depending on fossil fuels especially during drought periods; Streamlining implementation of compliances and regulatory clauses by segregating Exports from Imports; Measures to overcome Constraints for the development and expansion of the Sri Lankan Spice Industry specially Ceylon Cinnamon in which Sri Lanka has a Monopoly; Necessity to provide a package of assistance to develop and promote Value Added High-Tech Products; Measure to overcome complications arising due to requiring custom clearance entries prior to each and every sale related to local sales in the Garment Sector, and others, in addition to exports; To make available a proper international cheap payment gateway system. Preferably with PayPal; Lack of technically qualified and nationally recognized cinnamon industry work force, and use of machinery to improve process technology for value addition; Encourage more local industries to use local raw materials and especially local waste; Reduction of cost of working capital for the industrial sector by providing a suitable rebate to banks in respect of interest charged; Request to establish a ‘Skills Development Fund’ to support specific in house activities implemented by export enterprises and; Constraints for the Development and expansion of the Sri Lankan Spice Industry specially Ceylon Cinnamon in which Sri Lanka has a Monopoly.