Why is the Government not picking up ‘Low hanging fruits’?

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The Government is trying to get foreign direct Investment (FDI). But one cannot understand why they don’t pick up the low hanging fruits. The 5G spectrum is a good example.

All these years, past governments gave these licences  to their close associates on a platter via backdoor deals. And they in turn sold these out to telco/media businesses and made millions of rupees for themselves, depriving the State of millions of dollars in revenue. Recently our neighbour India, auctioned their 5G spectrum and raised INR 1.5 trillion (US$ 18.99 billion). President Ranil Wickremesinghe has the opportunity to tell the world that Sri Lanka is ready to welcome FDI without corruption, red tape and the new Government is ready to show the world that Sri Lanka has changed and all transactions will be transparent by auctioning the 5G spectrum via an online auction system as done by India.

I haven’t seen any suggestion or mention of anything on the 5G Spectrum auction. That means the new Government is still not looking out of the box for solutions. We need to think how we can attract investors of repute if we want to build a new economy with exports and get 10 to 15 Billion US$ investment in the next two to three years. “Over to you Mr President and your advisers to send the right message to the International community”.

The writer is a Past President Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka

By Kosala Wickramanayake