The President presided over the 12th meeting of the NEC at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (June 13).
During this meeting, it was discussed in detail regarding six main issues faced by the local entrepreneurs. The discussion was also focused on the rapid changes that need to be made in the countrys economic management as well as regarding short-term, medium and long-term projects that should be implemented to achieve development goals.
It was also observed that the local producers were unable to compete with the imported ceramic sanitaryware products as the Cess Tax on these products had been removed. Accordingly, attention was drawn to impose an import tax similar to the value of the previous Cess Tax.
Attention was drawn to the difficulties faced by the local entrepreneurs as they did not get an opportunity to obtain credit facilities under concessionary interest rates.
President Sirisena pointed out that there is a huge responsibility upon the state banks to provide loans at concessionary interest rates to local industrialists and said that the state banks should pay their attention to contribute to the development process of the country by encouraging the local producers while not attempting to maximize their profits.
It was announced that providing loan facilities provided to local industrialists and the rural economy should be increased and the NEC decided that this objective should be accomplished by augmenting the capital of the Regional Development Bank.
The importance and the need of the Sahasara Project that is operated to increase the efficiency of the transportation sector and it was decided to conduct this project with the cooperation of Ministry of Magapolis and Western Development and Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.
It was discussed to exempt VAT from health services such as counseling services, channeling services and hospital charges. Further discussions will be held on this issue.
General Secretary of the National Economic Council, Prof. Lalith Samarakoon said conference will be held at the premises of the Peoples Bank on June 28 to formulate plans which are to be operated under the National Economic Program, which was approved by the National Economic Council and to make the ministers and MPs aware of these plans and also to obtain their suggestions and proposals.
Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Rajitha Senaratne, Malik Smarawickrema, Mahinda Samarasighe, Mahinda Amaraweera, Arjuna Ranatunga, Rishad Bathiudeen, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Kabir Hashim, Sarath Amunugama, Daya Gamage, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyanwanna, Ashoka Abeysighe, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr.H.S. Samaratunga, Governor of the Central Bank Indrajit Coomaraswamy, and other members of the board were present at this meeting.