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Ship suppliers call for stronger lobbying eyeing 2015 budget

9 December 2013 04:15 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka’s ship supplier industry must look to float a common bond in order to increase its lobbying power and push for concessions not granted with Budget 2014, according to Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Harbour Master, Captain Ravi Jayawickrama.

Also known as a bond of association, a common bond is formed when individuals gather share capital into a common pool for the purpose of lending among members.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Ship Suppliers Association, Jayawickrama noted that very few ships docking in Sri Lanka purchase supplies through ports due to the imposition of tax on key items.

“At present it is quite rare for ships to purchase supplies in Sri Lanka unless there is an urgent need because you are being taxed for everything you supply. Many items like juice are available for half the cost in Indian and Singaporean ports because they don't pay such taxes.

With all of the port developments coming up across the island, there are vast opportunities opening up in the maritime sector. However if Sri Lanka is to become a maritime hub then this industry too must be developed to a higher level.” Jayawickrama stated.

In that context, he called on the association and its members to rally together in order to lobby the government for concessions through Budget 2015 in order to increase Sri Lanka's competitiveness in this area.

“Do the powers that be know the pitfalls of not allowing this industry to develop? I don't think they do. Budget 2014 gave a lot of concessions to the shipping industry at large but not to the ship suppliers therefore it is now high time that the industry gathers together and issues a common bond.

This will empower you to develop and increase your influence and push for the concessions needed to develop this industry.” Jayawickrama asserted.

“There is unity in strength. The international trend in the maritime industry is towards consolidation. The big shipping lines are all forming cartels in order to advance common interests. If large entities can do it then there is no reason why we can't either,” he added.
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