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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2709

Finance Ministry On An Investor Friendly Activity To Ease Doing Business In Sri Lanka

Colombo, 29 September, (Asiantribune.com):

Endeavors made by the Ministry of Finance to transform the trading and the commercial activities in the country in to an investor friendly activity have accrued benefits to all its stakeholders.

The "Ease of Doing Business", an initiative taken by the Ministry of Finance under the direction of the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has within a short period helped to remove impediments that were on the way of doing business in Sri Lanka which warrants interactions with its several stake holders.

Since May 2015, the Ministry of Finance has held three forums where problems were identified and favorably addressed up to now. This multi stakeholder platform is a joint exercise, chaired by the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake with the participation of the relevant Ministers of the respective ministries and top officials of the government Institutions. Marking another milestone the Ministry of Finance launched a web portal for "Ease of Doing Business". This web portal can be accessed through the Ministry of Finance website (http://www.treasury.gov.lk/). Further, "Ease of Doing Business" launched a Face Book Page which will act as another channel to view the forum and give in their input and suggestions on line.

As a result of the deliberations held at three previous forums, most of the government institutions have now established "Public Relations Offices" within their institutions to provide an efficient service to the private sector entities and the general public to speed up the business process.

The major operational issues at the Sri Lanka Customs and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority have been cleared off with availability of round the clock service on demand. The major breakthrough that would facilitate the economic activities, as a result of meaningful deliberations at this forum is the provision of implementing Customs online payment system linking all the major banks in Sri Lanka. This will be a big leap forward for a paradigm shift towards promoting the trading economy in the country. The Automation of CUSDEC import documentation process at the Sri Lanka Customs, availability of Import/Export information in digital form will facilitate trading community to allow the trading partners to log on through the internet and make e-payments to SL Customs. They can also do the electronic funds transfer or online payments to pay Customs duties and levies associated with the clearance formalities of goods declared for import or export of cargo.

The Customs Single Window System, a step that has been earmarked to be implemented, by end of this year enables the economic operators and trading partners to submit all import, export and transit information required by regulatory agencies via a single electronic gateway. This will do away the system of overlapping that will otherwise require them to submit and process the same information on numerous occasions to different entities.

The consequences of the deliberations at the Ease of Doing Business Forum of the Ministry of Finance will definitely improve the efficiency of the government by saving time of all the stake holders and no doubt that the initiative has played a pivotal role towards this success and it would continue to play the major role to transform the state bodies to play the role of a facilitator in promoting the economy of the country.

The next 'Ease of Doing Business “forum will be held on 01st of October at Miloda Centre Auditorium Colombo 01. This event will be chaired by the Minister of Finance Mr. Ravi Karunanayake which will bring on the spot solutions for business entities to uplift the business environment in Sri Lanka. For further information please dial 0112484583 and direct your queries to eodb@mo.treasury.gov.lk.

- Asian Tribune -

Ravi Karunanayake - Minister of Finance
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