Priority will be given to 24-hour homes instead of 08 hours offices – PM
August 25, 2017 04:18 pm
Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe stated that the government has taken steps to reorient state expenditure on government buildings, to channel funds to erect buildings where people can live for 24 hours, opposed to buildings that people will use for only 08 hours to help curtail the severe shortage of houses in the country.
Speaking at the ‘CONSTRUCT’ exhibition organized by the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NACSL) at the BMICH today (25), the Prime Minister lauded the construction industry for growing from humble beginnings to one of the most lucrative industry’s in the country today.
He recalled several premier projects such as the Mahaweli development project that was a watershed occurrence in the history of the Lankan construction industry.
He also illustrated how now the industry has transformed into a large scale where high-rise projects and large scale construction is done with ease.
The Prime Minister further stated that unfortunately, due to a decline in exports the government revenue was in constant decline. He also stated that prior to the Yahapalanaya government; the nation could not acquire enough revenue to service the colossal amounts of loans that were taken. He however stated that within two-years the government was able to stabilize the economy elevating it to such a state where the country had enough revenue to service the loans that were taken.
Plans on how the job market within the construction sector would be expanded were discussed. The Prime Minister stated that through the New Inland revenue Bill, several trade adjustments will be made to enable a mass inflow of foreign investment. He stated that nations like Singapore, South Korea and Bangladesh, who were behind Sri Lanka, were able to surpass our economy through continuous expansion. To make the Sri Lankan market internationally competitive he encouraged all workers to aim to expand their operations overseas.
The Prime Minister stated that a the government was able to create a favorable economic situation for any growing organization by acquiring the GSP plus status enabling any Sri Lankan to enter into business relations with European countries. He also stated that free-trade agreements will be drafted with Singapore, India, China and several other countries to expand the Lankan market creating competition for both local and foreign players.
Accordingly, large scale economic plans are in place where large scale construction will be benefitted. It was stated that the second phase of the Central highway will be done completely by local contractors eliminating the need for foreign sub-contractors. Further, large scale high end tourist resorts in Galle, Matara and Koggala are to be constructed to make Sri Lanka a more lucrative destination.
The Prime Minister further stated that previous regimes had grossly misused funds to construct and maintain government buildings. He stated that funds used for government buildings will be channeled to construct middle class housing complexes and expand urban renewal projects. He stated that these projects will require the aid of the local construction sector and will create a range of jobs for small scale as well as major firms.
It was also highlighted that the nation has been positioned to grow tremendously in the coming years. He stated that long term and short term benefits may be reaped if modernization and privatization can be effectively utilized to enhance the growth of the national economy.