Nov 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main business chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) today expressed its contentment for the 2013 budget proposal presented to the parliament yesterday by the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning.
The Chamber in a statement said it is encouraged by the commitment to fiscal discipline displayed in Budget 2013 and the commitment to maintain a flexible exchange rate regime and the investment and growth targets outlined by the authorities.
"The fiscal consolidation envisaged constitutes a welcome advance towards creating a macroeconomic environment conducive for achieving these. Notwithstanding the difficult macroeconomic environment, we appreciate the efforts of the Government to continue with the tax reforms announced in the Budget 2011," the CCC said in its statement.
Noting that the overall goal of the next year's budget is poverty alleviation and food security, the Chamber said it supports the objectives as they are important components towards achieving sustainable and equitable growth.
The organization "specifically" welcomed the government's measures to encourage SMEs, private sector led R&D, capital market development, investments in agriculture and the promotion of the IT and BPO sectors.
"Prudent monetary policies and the maintenance of fiscal discipline are required if the medium term macro targets announced are to be met and will play a key role if the real benefits of the progressive budgets since 2010 are to be realized," the Chamber noted.
Stressing that implementation will play a crucial role in achieving these objectives, the Chamber encouraged the government to create an enabling environment to attract the necessary investments and enhance exports in order to sustain the medium term growth target of 8%.
"We believe that a focus on exports is a fundamental requirement for sustaining a high level of economic growth in a relatively small developing nation such as ours," the business body said.
The CCC, while appreciating the positive initiatives proposed in Budget 2013 to enhance equitable growth, emphasized that transparency, good governance and the rule of law are essential pre-requisites to achieve the development targets set out.