The Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) said in a statement that at a glance the budget appears to be more broad based and comprehensive than previous budgets.
Its President, Surath Wickramasinghe said in a statement: “The incentives given for power generation, export promotion, which we hope will also include Professional Services and for Furniture Manufacturing is encouraging. Allocation of 70,000 Ha. of land for Agriculture we believe is mainly for import substitution and the mechanism to facilitate early acquisitions of land for Road Development by using Treasury Bills for settlements of heavy compensation is noteworthy.”
Out of the Rs. 370 billion allocated for Capital Expenditure at least 50% will be for the 50,000 housing programme for the Defence Personnel, new Ports and Airport Development, Urban Development and other construction related work which is most welcome and will benefit the construction industry and we hope the work will be distributed in a fair and just manner to both the Public and Private Sectors. It is regretted that despite representations by the chamber, the budget has not made a policy decision to facilitate Public / Private / Partnerships to promote viable Mega Projects in Urban Regeneration, Infrastructure Development etc.”
Collection of the Construction Industry Guarantee Fund Levy as a Withholding Tax has been introduced without specifying the use of the Fund for Development of the industry. This fund should be further broadbased to provide Seed Capital to initiate Urban Regeneration in Cities and Infra-structure Projects.”