Plans afoot to set up new industrial zones

By Pabodha Hettige

Plans are afoot to establish new industrial zones in the country to strengthen the economy while promoting certain industries, seen as potential contributors to the national economy.

"Relevant authorities have been asked to perform need assessments in the areas where the need for such zones has been identified," Secretary to the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise, V. Sivagnanasothy, said.

Currently, Sri Lanka has nearly 18 industrial estates in areas such as Vavuniya, Panaluwa and Pannala, while Achchuveli industrial estate in Jaffna is under construction.

"The ministry has allocated about Rs. 15 million to upgrade the infrastructure of the existing industrial estates in order to attract more industrial establishments," he said.

Sivagnanasothy also said that in 2012 the ministry would focus more on developing small and medium cottage industries under Divi Neguma programme.

Currently the ministry is in the process of training nearly 12,000 entrepreneurs who had expressed their willingness to embark on small and medium cottage industries at Divi Neguma exhibitions held in certain districts last year.

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