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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2423

CCI plans to provide a bag of concessions to local SMEs

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 26 December, (Asiantribune.com): The Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka plans to attract small and medium scale Contractors by providing a bag of concessions and a number of technical supports.

Executive Director of the CCI Dakshitha Talgodapitiya says these concessions would boost competition and capacity of the SMEs. Obtaining our membership would assist them to grab these concessions, he said.

Speaking to media in Colombo, Mr.Talgodapitiya said beginning of the year 2007, the CCI will create a special system to form companies among the SMEs. After the introduction of companies, the CCI would provide professional services and necessary guidelines to obtain credit facilities to SMEs. First we want to build their images, he said.

The CCI said under these concessions, SMEs would receive support for bank guarantees, and other financial services under a MOU between the CCI and the commercial banks.

A special unit for tax matters has been setup under the leadership of retired Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue to advice SMEs on tax matters. The unit mediates with the tax authorities to solve tax matters of the SMEs, who do not have proper knowledge on personal taxes and other corporate taxes.

Meanwhile the CCI has already discussed with the Chartered Engineers to provide civil and mechanical advice and guidance to local SMEs and prepare projects reports.

Veteran and experienced chartered engineers who served under government institutions will manage this advisory service.

The National Cleaner Production center also came to assist SMEs to maintain environment issues and reduce waste in their construction projects.

Mr.Talgodapitiya said the CCI opens another three vocational training centers in Hambantota, Matale and Kandy to train masons and carpenters.

Our plan is train over 25,000 masons and carpenters within a short period, he said.

The BIO FORCE Institute of France will assist these centers to provide funds and technical know how, he added.

We already discussed with the local entrepreneurs to obtain funds and other assistance to run this project. Some construction companies have offered practical training in their construction projects and some agreed to provide jobs for the trainees, after completion of their initial training, he explained.

The Suntel Ltd, one of land telephone operator in Sri Lanka, already donated five million rupees to manage this project.

He said the construction industry in Sri Lanka is compelled to employ unskilled or semi skilled workers. Less than 5% of the construction work force has received any type of formal training or accreditation. If flyovers are to be constructed or housing for soldiers is to be built within a given time frame we need construction craftsmen. For development of infrastructure to achieve targeted growth rates enhancement of the capacities of the construction industry is an urgent necessity. The shortage of construction craftsmen in this country could be estimated in the region of 45-50,000.

- Asian Tribune -

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