Among the main proposed amendments is to amend Sec. 3 of the Act as to identify and define SME Sector individuals, enterprises which engage in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and safeguard the rights, interest and sustainability of the SME Sector in the tourism industry.
Sec. 4 of the present Act defined the composition of the SLTDA and with the existing composition of the membership in the SLTDA, the ASMET strongly proposed that the Sec. 4 of the existing Act be amended by recognizing and offered one- or two-members Board seats to ASMET in SLTDA which will make possible ASMET to advise the Authority time to time over the SME sector in the Industry to identify and regularize and/or improve SME Sector in the tourism industry.
Sec. 6 of the present Act provides that the SLTDA should be prepared and present long-term goals and a 4-year Plan to develop the tourism industry within Sri Lanka to the Minister of Tourism. ASMET proposes that the 4-year plan be changed into a 5-year plan taking into consideration the implementation difficulties and the delays of the adaptation to the policies made on the proposals by entrepreneurs in the SME Sector in the tourism industry. ASMET also proposes to establish a separate department in the authority to cater the SME sector in the Tourism industry.
ASMET further proposed that the existing Sec. 12(c) (n)(iii) be amended as follows: “to provide financial assistance by way of grant, loan or otherwise, subject to such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Authority, to a SME Sector enterprises in any crisis situations such as pandemic, economic and or civil war crisis prevailing in the country in order to sustain such enterprises and also any persons intending to engage in tourist or travel services;”.
In addition ASMET has made an array of several more suggestions and observations which will be immensely fruitful for the upliftment of the SME tourism sector in Sri Lanka to the Secretary of The Tourism Ministry.
“The ASMET has made several appeals, requests, proposals and grievances during the past to the authorities such as the Ministry of Finance and the Tourism Ministry in time which has always been given a good hearing and provided solutions and granted ASMET favorable replies right throughout the associations history”, President of ASMET M. B. Jayarathna said. (MFJ)