ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula has untapped potential for food processing, tourism, and private business is more active than the government in the area, a regional chamber chief said.
“The contribution of private sector is high in the economic development of the North,” V K Vignesh, Chairman of Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam told reporters in Colombo.
“We need machinery and equipment’s to enhance the production specially in food processing, fishery, agriculture, tourism and arts and crafts.”
He was speaking at an event to announce the Jaffna International Trade Fair, which would be held from January 24 to 26 at Muttrawel, Jaffna.
“Investors and entrepreneurs are really struggling in Jaffna. They are totally helpless,” Vignesh said.
“They are not getting any support from our local political leaders or even from the financial institutions that are functioning in that region.”
Sri Lanka has seen monetary instability since 2015, with the liquidity injections and currency collapses triggering two busts in a row, analysts have said.
“In every year the government implementing good schemes for agriculture, fisheries and dairy sectors through the budget – especially for SMEs.”
“But the real question is how is the Northern province access to that. Weather they are implementing them or not.”
He said financial institutions were promoting their own schemes and not the concessionary programs of the government.
He said the regional politicians also do not raise economic issues in parliament.
Vignesh said economic conditions were better during the rule of ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The ending of a 30-year war, led to an economic boom in the North. (SB-Colombo/Dec05/2019)