- Confident that with more bargaining power, govt. will deliver what they expect
- Look forward to firm, long-term solutions to biz issues within next five years
- Exporters want due emphasis to sector with strategies for revival and steady policies
- Expects united, efficient team to steer tourism industry forward
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
The local business community yesterday sounded upbeat on their expectations from the new parliament that was elected with a landslide victory by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and its allies, securing two-thirds majority.
Sharing with Mirror Business sentiments on the newly elected parliament and its ability to deliver a favourable operative environment, business chambers representing different business segments expressed confidence in the private sector being assisted to move beyond the revival phase.
Speaking on behalf of industrialists, Ceylon National Chambers of Industries (CNCI) Chairman Ruwan Edirisinghe said the two-thirds majority would help in passing the necessary support without much delay.
“This is possible for the government now since it has the two-thirds majority, they have the bargaining power. Previously this was not the case. We are confident the government will deliver to us what we expect,” said Edirisinghe.
He shared that the expectation of the CNCI from the new government is to pump at least 2 percent of the GDP (Rs.400 billion) into the private sector as a stimulus package to support both SMEs and large enterprises impacted by the global pandemic.
Representation of the Confederation of Micro, Small, and Medium Industries (COSMI) said they expect President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would receive the necessary backing from the newly elected parliament to develop business communities across the country.
“We are sure the President together with the parliament will support all citizens regardless of their cast and religions. He will support to uplift and upgrade industries in all districts. We are certain he will listen to our concerns and deliver within the next five years,” said COSMI President Nawaz Rajabdeen.
He stressed that the confederation does not expect issues to be ironed out in the coming months but want firm, long-term solutions.
From the exporters, the expectation is to give the sector due emphasis along with having in place post COVID-19 strategies for revival, and steady policies.
“Any government will agree that exports play a vital role for an economy to progress. It is a must that they support the export development programmes. Sri Lankan missions overseas will have to play an aggressive role in promotions and many traditional exports areas need diversification. All these require strong government support,” expressed National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Secretary General/CEO Shiham Marikar.
Speaking on behalf of the hard-hit tourism sector, the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) stressed the need for fresh impetus to help move the industry towards a positive growth trajectory.
“Considering the impact the tourism industry has on our economy, it is vital that the government considers appointing a united and efficient team of officials who will steer our industry forward together with the private sector. We in the private sector are ready to offer our fullest support under ‘one voice one industry’,” said SLAITO President Mahen Kariyawasam.
The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) had a tall order for the government as they stressed “great victories mean great expectations”.
Stating that the convincing landslide is an expression of the great hopes of the people for a new era of peace, growth and stability, WCIC Chairperson Chathuri Ranasinghe stressed that the mandate given to the government is to rejuvenate the economy with new and bold initiatives.
“We the WCIC have immense confidence that the newly elected parliament will; grant increased opportunities for women entrepreneurs especially the SMEs, bring in workplace policies to ensure safety and security of women which would be consistently applied, and encourage increased female participation of suitable women in the civil administration.”
The WCIC also called on the government to push for a ‘self sufficient Sri Lanka’ with aggressive accelerated development of entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector.
Meanwhile, when Mirror Business reached out to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) for their sentiments, the CCC said it has decided to not comment on the election results and its implications as yet, whereas the NCC representatives were unavailable for comments.