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IT- BPM sector calls for a prompt solution to man made economic disaster 

Sri Lanka’s aim to become a global IT-BPM destination and to unlock sector growth by a factor of five by achieving US$ 5 billion in exports by 2022, creating 200,000 direct jobs and launching 1,000 start-ups has been shattered as the  island nation is now in quagmire.

Hundreds of thousands of people are staging street protests demanding the president to step down as he was responsible for the current man made economic disaster in the country..  

With the Sri Lankan government’s Cabinet resigning, the economic crisis in the island nation worsened Tuesday as there seems to be no one to steer the nation out of the economic crisis made by the President taking arrogant decisions on the ill advice of  his stooges, political activists claimed.  

Today, there are queues for fuel, LP gas , essential food items etc  in various parts of the country. 

Among them the longest and the largest were visa queues and passport queues of aspiring youths and professionals who intended to leave the country seeking foreign jobs. 

The belief, Sri Lanka is now a failed state not a ‘suitable country to stay’ is a result of  the government’s stupit  ideology and  development programmes tainted with corruption,waste and irregularities which  had brought benifts for Rajapaksa clan, civil society activists alleged.   . 

On the other hand, the island nation is facing a serious foreign exchange crisis and the government is in shambles after failing to earn foreign exchange to finance the cost of imports and to service foreign debt. 

Over the past 10 years, Sri Lanka’s IT and Business Process Outsourcing and Management Industry (IT-BPM) has expanded by 300 per cent, with service export earnings reaching USD 1.2 billion. 

It accounts for 12 per cent of the total service export earnings of the country. IT-BPM sector provides direct employment opportunities to over 80,000 professionals in the country. Compared to other service export sectors, the IT-BPM sector, which currently focuses on software development, 

IT service delivery and customer call centre services, seems to have a huge potential to increase service export earnings in the future. 

Financial consulting services and auditing services also show growth potential in the export sector. Therefore, professionals in accounting, forensic accounting, auditing and taxation should be developed as a group with the potential to export services in the future.

Under these circumstances, the key trade chambers representing the IT-BPM industry express their concern on the evolving situation in the country.

They urge the government to respond to the voice of the citizens in a responsible manner and restore stability with pragmatic solutions through consultation.

The chambers calls upon the government and every Sri Lankan to uphold the rule of law and desist from instigations that are aimed at destabilising the country.

This clarion call was made by SLASSCOM, Sri Lanka’s national chamber for the IT-BPM industry, FITIS, Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka, and the Computer Society of Sri Lanka(CSSL) the national association of ICT Professionals

They said “the peaceful protests are a show of solidarity bringing every Sri Lankan to the street to express their displeasure on the state of affairs and governance. 

The constitution of the country provides mechanisms to change the political structure and its representatives which is the hallmark of a functioning democracy. 

We urge the government to restore credibility with appointments of representatives who are capable and free from corruption, and work with experts to resolve the financial crisis that has affected all key economic sectors and Sri Lankan homes with shortages of essentials – food, gas, fuel, and electricity. 

The lower income, small businesses, farmers, and vulnerable segments of our society have been hit the most with despair and no means of sustenance. 

It is imperative that normalcy and political stability are restored as soon as possible to not further damage the country’s image internationally which could seriously hinder economic recovery. Sri Lanka is a country of abundant resources and enormous human potential. It is incumbent on all of us to make a change for the better”

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