The path has already been cleared for industrialists to bring industries to the remote parts of the country to build the national economy, President Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday.
This will help develop the remote parts of the country without confining to industries only to the Western Province, President Rajapakse said.
Launching the `Industries to Villages` (Gamata Karmantha) programme under the Mahinda Chinthana to set up 300 industries at village level, the President expressed hope that industrialists will seize the opportunity provided by the Government to take industries to remote parts of the country.
`We hope the local industrialists will make use of the incentives and tax concessions offered to them to bring industries to villages,` President Rajapakse said.
He said special attention should be drawn towards the Northern and Eastern parts when setting up industries.
`The Government`s programme to bring peace to the country by resolving the North-East problem which has become a burden not only for the country but also for the international community will help industrialists to establish industries to the North and East too,` the President added.
He said that local industrialists were neglected following the introduction of the open economy to this country.
`The 1977 political change saw the commencement of the deterioration of local industries. The Government kept more confidence in foreign industrialists rather than the local industrialists and the flow of unlimited products discouraged the local industrialists,` the President remarked.
He said local industrialists were deprived of even locally available resources. `Even the contracts for the construction of roads were given to foreigners neglecting the local contractors,` he recalled.
`We should protect the local industrialists but that does not mean that we should discourage foreign industrialists,` the President said.
He pointed out if industrialists have to waste their time to acquire lands, obtain electricity, telephone and other infrastructure facilities it will be a discouraging factor.
`We should either eliminate or minimise such situations if we need to encourage industrialists to set up their industries in remote parts,` he said.
He said the Government has focused its attention towards developing infrastructure facilities in the remote parts of the country to encourage industrialists to set up industries there.
President Rajapakse also pointed out that the Cabinet Sub Committee headed by him will help industrialists to solve their problems soon.
Industrial Development Minister Kumara Welgama and Treasury Secretary Dr.P.B. Jayasundara also spoke.