ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lankan tax payers will subsidize six apparel factories in and around former zones in the north, in a bid to draw investors and generate employment in the area.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen to build six factories and lease them to investors to build apparel factories.
Investors were reluctant to build factories in Mannar and Mullativu, despite road and electricity being provided due to the remoteness of the areas, he said.
As a result the state will build factories and give them on a long-term lease to investors to recover the cost.
In Musali and Weli-Oya areas about 2,500 youth were available to work in the factories including 500 who had experience in the apparel trade.
Three factories will be built on a 50-acre land owned by Sri Lanka's Mahaweli Authority in Weli-Oya in the first phase. If it is successful another three factories could be built there.
Another three factories will be built on a 50-acre land in Musali in Ammachchi Kulam.
State-run Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB) could build the factories for 372 million rupees, without value added tax with 186 million rupees to be spent in 2015.