Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Latest Posts

SME sector demands permission to import items cannot be manufactured locally

In the wake of worsening foreign exchange crisis that forced the Sri Lankan government headed by President Ranil Wickremsinghe who is the Finance Minister of the country to impose a temporary import ban on 367 item to save hard currency, hundreds of businesses are fighting for survival. Smaller ones have shut down, costing many their livelihoods.

A large number of small businessmen and women ,SME operators , induatrialists , and importers have urged President Ranil Wickremsinghe to consider the plight of affected sector and persons depending on it to conduct a comprehensive review on the impact of this decision and lift the restrictions on some of these items essential for the sector even increasing taxes ata reasonable rate.

They noted the procedure proposed by the Central Bank to allow the imports of some banned items considering case by case by crony officials on the directions of the Central Bank and Finance Ministry top officials with hidden agenda against the President will never help to solve the problem.

W.A. Wijewardena, a former deputy governor at the central bank, said that reserves in Sri Lanka have fallen to a critically low level, causing forex to disappear from the formal market.

The import of over 300 items has been temporarily suspended with effect from August 23 under the Import and Export Control Act through a government notification by the Finance Ministry.

It further states that importation of any goods, specified in these Regulations, by any approved enterprises for processing and re-export purposes may be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports Control on recommendation of the Secretary, Ministry of Industries or Director General, Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, case by case basis.

The host of items included in the list range from chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa, condensed milk, yogurt, coconuts, Coconut base arrack, roses to perfumes, beauty or make-up preparations, deodorants, dental floss and trunks, suit-cases, brief-cases to various clothing items.

While continuing the import restrictions, permission to import goods that cannot be manufactured locally, and the required raw materials to engage production, should be granted, Sri Lanka United National Businesses Alliance (SLUNBA) Chairperson Tanya Abesundara said.

She addressed an opening ceremony in Nugegoda, saying the SLUNBA had requested the government to provide the infrastructure to uplift local manufacturing.

“The government should not rely on exports and dollars; instead, it should improve domestic manufacturing and industries to protect the rupee in the country; it is not rocket science to be unaware of the current situation,” she said.

While commenting on the recent tax amendment, the chairperson said to collect tax, local industries and companies should be stable and money should be with the people.

Otherwise, the tax cannot be collected. “The decision taken to privatize several government institutions is a wise decision taken by the government.”

Most of the employees get their wages without deductions. The backbone of the country’s economy is the private sector companies.

“The decision to privatize state entities in the country would help to settle the debts,” she added.

Latest Posts


Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.