Sri Lanka Finance Ministry to Launch Web Portal!

Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry is initiating a series of meetings between the government institutions and the private sector to facilitate business under the theme “Ease of Doing Business”.

The objective of these meetings is to identify and address the procedural and regulatory issues in doing business. It will provide the private sector a platform to interact with the relevant government institutions and seek responses to their queries, the Ministry said in a statement.

The inaugural meeting of the series is scheduled to be held on Thursday 14 May 2015 from 2:00 pm onwards.

Due to overwhelming demand from the private sector participants to attend the forum, Ministry of Finance has changed the venue to the Conference Hall (Level 6) at “Miloda”, the Academy of Financial Studies (Old Times Building in Bristol Street, Colombo 01) in order to accommodate more participants.

The Ministry will launch the “Ease of Doing Business” web portal at the inaugural forum, which will enable the private sector to forward their queries directly to the relevant government institutions and obtain solutions.

A reference number will be tagged to each query and the private sector companies can use this for any required follow ups. This mechanism will facilitate efficient interaction between the private sector and government institutions.

Limitations to freedom of contract and the lengthy times taken to resolve standardized disputes through the courts have made doing business harder in Sri Lanka, according to the World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business Report.

The global survey by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank ranked Sri Lanka at 99th out of 189 countries.

According to the World Bank report, it takes 1,318 days – almost 4 years, to resolve a standardized dispute through the courts in Sri Lanka whereas, in Singapore, the best country to do business, the process takes only 21 days and Sri Lanka is the worst.

The Ministry has invited the business chambers in the country to participate at the inaugural session and is coordinating with the business chambers in order to get the queries beforehand and forward them to the relevant government officials.

Officials from over 25 Government Institutions will be in attendance to help the private sector in getting their queries resolved.

The meetings will be instigated on a monthly basis at the beginning and move to a more frequent schedule once the mechanisms are established, the Ministry said.