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* India provides more funds to Sri Lanka's first industrial zone in North
Sun, Dec 2, 2012, 09:03 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 02, Colombo: The Indian Government has agreed to release more funds to commence operations of the first industrial zone in the war-battered Northern Province, Sri Lanka Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development said.

The Ministry says that India has increased the financial assistance from Rs. 192 million to Rs. 250 million for the development of the Atchchuvely Industrial Zone in Jaffna.

The project is the first Green Industrial Zone in the country and is funded by the Indian government.

The Ministry will implement the project with the technical expertise and project management services by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The Sri Lankan government has allocated Rs. 25 million in 2011 to restore the Atchchuvely Industrial Zone that was devastated in ethnic war. An area of 65 acres was cleared of landmines and an administrative building was constructed with these allocations.

In July this year, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, Douglas Devananda said a Rs. 50 million grant provided by USAID would be offered to factory owners who would start industries in Atchchuvely Industrial Zone.

A government report said the zone has attracted 52 investors and half of them are interested in in the food and beverage sector.

The rest of the investors are interested in industrial products categories of tire manufacturing, aluminum-based products, wood carving, soap manufacturing, and cement-based products.

Once completed, the development is expected to boost to economic activities in the Jaffna Peninsula and provide both direct and indirect employment for about 2,000 people.

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