Several professional organisations, headed by the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) have put forward a 10-point action plan to overcome the present crisis.
This plan was presented at an event held recently.
Speaking at a Media briefing, they said Sri Lanka is facing the worst socio-economic crisis in its history. This situation has arisen due to mismanagement, they added.
“These issues have also been exacerbated by macro-economic factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn,” they said.
A group of professional organisations, headed by the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) and comprising, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam, United Trade and Industry Association, Dehiwala, The Matara District Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Nugegoda Entrepreneurs and Professionals Alliance, Minuwangoda Trade Association, Lanka Business Ring, Nawalapitiya Traders Association, Entrepreneurs Lanka, Mahanuwara Sinhala Welanda Peramuna, Kiribathgoda Sinhala Merchant Association, Galle District Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Event Management Association-Sri Lanka, Lanka Confectionary Manufactures Association, Kurunegala Sinhala Welada Peramuna, All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association, Association of Container Transporters, Association of Clearing and Forwarding, and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, have put forward the following 10-point action plan to overcome the present crisis.
The first point was the need for immediate political and administrative stability. This would mean the reduction of the powers vested in the Executive President as well as appointing professionals with relevant expertise and experience to the Cabinet and other key positions.
The second point is addressing the immediate financial and essential goods crisis faced by the people, while also supporting those engaged in activities that bring in foreign currency to the country.
The third point is adopting a ‘Sri Lanka First’ negotiation strategy for long-term debt restructuring by engaging with the sovereign bondholders as well as reaching out to international organisations such as the IMF and friendly countries.
The fourth point is the reduction of government expenditure and making government-owned entities efficient and self-sufficient. This would mean focusing on performance and output.
The fifth point is to bring about good governance by making the necessary reforms to the political structure.
The sixth point is to enhance industrialisation through an accelerated drive towards export-led real GDP growth. This would mean bringing about certain fiscal reforms while also bringing in a structure that encourages foreign direct investment (FDI).
The seventh point is the redefinition of policies to empower traditional and disruptive industries. This means the promotion of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and utilising them in industries such as agriculture.
The eighth point is a proposed global campaign for promoting FDI via Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). This campaign would promote Sri Lanka via targeted exhibitions and forums across the globe and capitalise on the potential return on investment.
The ninth point is the need for effective communication and transparency with all stakeholders of the Nation, including the public to ensure accountability. This would mean adopting a framework that tracks and maintains a record of all activities carried out by the public sector including public office bearers.
The tenth point is capitalising on the Port City and integrating a model for a transformed Sri Lanka. This model would attract immediate FDIs through the Port City, while simultaneously supporting exporters through this initiative.
If these proposed 10 points are implemented immediately and followed, COYLE and the other organisations that put forward this plan are confident that Sri Lanka can recover from the present crisis and be stronger than ever before in the future.