Kataragama Kumana up to Pottuvil roadway link

Hatton National Bank

Hatton National Bank



The development of the North and East should be fast tracked along with the rest of the country to ensure that the benefits of the victory against the LTTE filter down to the people. The process should be reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, Chairman Hatton National Bank (HNB) Rienzie Wijetilleke told Daily News Business.

He outlined certain proposals which can be implemented utilizing the internal resources which will yield quick results. a??We dona??t have to depend on foreign aid for everything as there are many ventures that the banks can support,a?? he said.

Extending a new roadway link along the southern coast beyond Kataragama along the coastline through the Yala sanctuary, Kumana up to Pottuvil Purchase ethionamide pronunciation (through/around Arugam Bay) and setting up small hamlets along that roadway with a planned program is very important.

These villages can then be colonized and agricultural projects and small industries can be developed using local resources, he said.

Simultaneously, people in the north and east can take to various employment projects such as producing milk, eggs, vegetables, fruits and fish within a short period where their day-to-day requirements will be fulfilled while earning an income.

However, middle level businessmen should set up cold rooms, collection centres, stores and other infrastructure facilities to store and transport the excess products using bank finances. In the past, the banks had successfully recovered such loans as the projects generated short term and positive results, he said.

If arrangements can be made to transport these items by air to the rest of the country such as Anuradhapura and Kurunegala it will create more opportunities.

A few small airfields should be constructed with the support of the private sector where people can travel to the main cities in the country including the north and east saving valuable time, Wijetilleke said.

As a knowledge of English is vital, the Government can organize some crash courses in English for the priests in the churches and for those in the temples in each area. Later their support can be mobilized in village schools.

Teaching appointments can be given to suitable assistants and then village schools will have English teachers. Similarly, the private sector can get involved in computer training programs to develop the villages.

They can also provide essential health care, education, water, electricity and other essential services with a short term plan. Financial institutions can have a branch network every 10-15 kms and introduce self-employment schemes.

Referring to the concept of Agriculture Service Centres introduced by the late Hector Kobbekaduwa, he said that it was not successful because those who were involved in it did not understand the value but that type of scheme can be re-established which will assure assistance for agricultural activities and marketing products.

The construction industry can be given a big boost with the introduction of planned building of houses, schools, hospitals with assistance from friendly countries such as China, India and Japan who have lost the bulk of export markets due to the global recession.

He said that a Bond issue titled the a??North East Development Bonda?? for about Rs 25 billion managed by the Central Bank should be created along with an institution such as the Sri Lanka Banksa?? Association which is a guaranteed public company and marketed to the private sector. This will attract investors and guarantee efficient management of the fund with a definite return on the investment.

Wijetilleke said that every effort should be made to connect the north east economy with the rest of the country and all activities should be networked so that the whole country will benefit by inter-provincial transactions particularly at lower and middle levels.

Sharing of resources will be possible with proper communication links. Foreign aid can be sought for infrastructure development such as railways, ports and airports.

It would take only 24 months for the country to reap the real benefits of a change of environment in the post conflict period, he said.

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