Oct 12, Washington, DC: Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera said the next year's 'designer budget' is aimed at creating a robust, flourishing and modern economy and will focus on a start - up culture of empowering the private sector for the development of the country.
Minister Samaraweera made this statement at a meeting with the Regional Director for World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) South Asia Mengistu Alemayehu in Washington, DC yesterday (11). Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dr. Harsha de Silva also participated in the discussion;
The Minister briefed the IFC Director on empowering the private sector through the public-private partnership and the implementation of the Inland Revenue Act.
Wide ranging discussions with the IFC director centered on important issues of the Sri Lankan economy. Discussions also focused on ways and means of enhancing mutual cooperation to promote private sector contribution for the economic development of Sri Lanka.
Following extensive deliberations, the IFC Director for South Asia said the IFC will support infrastructure development, eco-tourism and affordable housing initiatives in Sri Lanka.
Appreciating the support given by the IFC to obtain a private sector contribution for development, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the government has given priority to the private sector contribution under public and private partnership to develop the country.
The IFC provides financial support and training opportunities for the sustainable growth of the SME sector in Sri Lanka. The agency has committed over USD 165 million during 2017, covering projects across a range of sectors including infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, finance, and healthcare.
Samaraweera said as the Minister of Finance he is ready to present his first budget with the aim to build a rich country with a strong economy. This budget has focused on the empowerment of the private sector, he said.