He was speaking as the chief guest at the handing over ceremony of lands in industrial estates owned by the Ministry of Industries to new investors under the ‘Dinana Rata Awakening Industries’ program held at BMICH last week.
He also recalled that 2021 saw the highest number of land being presented to industrialists from the industrial estates owned by the Ministry of Industries to commence new businesses. In the past 10 months alone, we have been able to start 91 new industries in industrial estates under the Ministry of Industry.
The total investment in those 91 industries is over Rs. 4,000 million. The total number of direct jobs generated is over 8,000.
“This year we will double this number.” Going forward, in 2022, we have the opportunity to provide land not only to those who have requested land in the industrial estates but also to a large number of other investors to start new industries. In particular, we will be able to achieve an unprecedented target this year by making efficient use of the Rs. 5,000 million allocated in this time’s budget to start new industrial estates. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry to take our country’s entrepreneurs and industrialists to an environment where they can invest more.”
Commenting on the US dollar crunch in Sri Lanka he said taking loans provides only a temporary answer as the loan installment will be haunting Sri Lanka and the country will have to pay a higher loan installment than it had previously. Hence the only answer we have is to set up import substitution industries and create industrialists here and these industrialists can also export to foreign markets and bring in US dollars to Sri Lanka.
“Due to certain decisions taken by us as the Minister of Industries during the last year, we have been able to create a conducive environment for local industrialists. For example, we banned the export of scrap metal. As a result, the casting industry or the metal manufacturing industry in this country began to receive the required raw materials and the industry flourished.” Also, with the approval of the Cabinet, we introduced the Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) which was essential for the vehicle assembly industry in this country.
This is creating a significant boost to the vehicle assembling industry.