He said that several Sri Lankans based overseas are keen to help their relatives, friends by remitting money to commence mini projects like Start-Ups, mini restaurants, shopping centres, electrical outlets and similar ventures ranging from USD 5,000 to around 100,000. “We have observed that several Sri Lankans based in the Gulf, EU and Canada plus the diaspora are keen to remit money to Sri Lanka for these kinds of projects. But they need some recognition for it.”
The invitation made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the USA inviting the diaspora for talks to iron out their issues too had given a positive message to them.
“Due to the depreciation of the Sri Lanka rupee these funds can be used by Sri Lankan recipients more productively for their projects.
What we are proposing to the government is to offer and devise a special ‘privilege card’ which will give them benefits when they visit Sri Lanka.
He said this proposed card offered to anyone who offers over USD 10, 000 firstly can offer a 10% discount when purchasing a ticket from SriLankan Airlines, special discounts when visiting sites like Sigiriya, national parks, Laksala and similar offers. “This is not asking too much.”
He said that according to research done by them an incentive scheme of this nature can annually attract over USD 500 million adding that CBA too can streamline the process of business support between the government and private sector to facilitate this which will be a major booster to the growth of the SME sector.