Batticaloa Chamber calls for elimination of bureaucracy

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By 2017-11-14

By M Rishar M Saleem

The 2018 Budget presented by Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, in Parliament contained some encouraging proposals for the much-neglected SME sector. The Minister has taken a far-reaching and proactive attitude to ensure the betterment of the sector which is capable of drawing much-needed encouragement to probable investors.

However, this positive effort could be negated by the dirty practices of bureaucracy which could delay the benefits being fully optimized by SMEs, alleges CEO Batticaloa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, K. Kugathas speaking to Ceylon FT.
He appealed to financial institutions of the area to take a leaf from the Finance Minister's book and act positively. Explaining further he said, "Drop the 'red tapes' which has been a discouragement to the SME sector thus far". He recalls this as being a bitter experience to probable investors in the area.

Kugathas was full of praise for the positive approach the Finance Minister had taken on SMEs and was hopeful the Sector will prosper this time around.
The Finance Minister in his Budget speech said, "Our objective is to ensure that no entrepreneur is ever denied credit due to the lack of collateral but able to assess financing on the viability of the project proposal". Minister Samaraweera also stressed, "In fact a good business idea will be given pride of place".

Kugathas was optimistic and said he expected a positive approach from personnel manning the sector. He appealed to all State and private financial institutions to work closely with Regional Chambers to make this endeavours successful. He also drew some pessimism recalling some bitter experiences faced due to bureaucracy in the past and said "Any good scheme could fail due to the bad attitude of personnel manning it".

He called for Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) supervision along with the cooperation of the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) with regional chamber participation where SME sector development could be well executed.
Kugathas noted that the Government's concern to develop the North and the East was commendable and he hoped the benefits proposed would reach the masses without any obstacle and the province would thrive with innovative new business ventures which would help the area to prosper economically.

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