|Exports increased by 6% up to October - Prof. G.L. Peiris|
|Monday, 22 December 2008|
Exports from Sri Lanka had increased by six per cent up to last October while all imports had come down by 10 per cent, which in turn, had resulted in an increase of income for the people and a corresponding decrease in expenditure, Minister of Export Development and International Trade Prof. G.L. Peiris citing Central Bank reports.
He was speaking at a meeting at the Export Development Board (EDB).
At this meeting, the Minister distributed Rs. 4 million from the funds allocated under the 'Jathika Saviya-Gama Neguma' Development Programme, among several Rural Livelihood Development Programmes operating in Hanwella, Padukka, Maharagama and Kaduwela Divisional Secretariats.
Under this programme, plants and seedlings needed for foliage and mushroom cultivation, technical advice and agricultural training would be provided while infusion of technology and the facilitation of the interaction between farmers and exporters too would take place.
Speaking further, Prof. Peiris said that efforts were being made to encourage local production in preference to the import of foreign goods into the country.
No country could stand on its own feet by importing all its requirements. Everyone should strive to produce every possible consumer item within the country. During the reign of King Parakramabahu, Sri Lanka was referred to as the 'Granary of the East', and today, it's everyone's duty to create conditions to make that a reality in modern times too.
To achieve such an objective, several practical steps had to be taken and the present programme ensured that the producer was provided with all the facilities and incentives in order to strengthen the local economy.
Referring to the increase in exports and the decrease in imports, Prof. Peiris said that it had given a tremendous boost to the local economy. He cautioned that the country should not rest on its laurels as yet and that indefatigable efforts should be made to spread the monetary resources thus earned throughout the country in a just and fair manner.
He also pointed out that areas surrounding Colombo city had been identified as quite suitable for agricultural production. Even in a limited land area, a lot of export-oriented crops could be cultivated that would ensure great economic benefits.
He also said that all monies allocated to individual MPs from the Decentralized Budget should not be spent only on the creation of physical resources or infrastructure but a good part of it should be channelled towards efforts such as the propagation of self-employment opportunities in society and improvement of livelihood of the poorer segments of the people.
Prof. Peiris said that earlier, everybody concentrated on industry in relation to exports but the new thinking had been to encourage the cultivation of agricultural products, specially through schemes such as 'export villages'. There was also a conducive environment throughout the country for the promotion of such a concept.
Referring to the 'export village' concept initiated by the EDB, which was a departure from the traditional export trading model, Prof. Peiris said that the unique feature of it was the ability to provide a fair and high price to the primary producer.
In addition, the programme would also safeguard the farmer at every turn, cover him against any uncertainties and ensure qualitative up-grading of products and the maximum utilization of available technology while encouraging value-addition.
Among the others who addressed the gathering were Hector Bethmage, Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Livestock Products, Health and Irrigation of the Western Provincial Council (WPC) and Anil Koswatte, Chairman, EDB.
Courtesy: Daily News
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
|< Prev||Next >|