The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, together with industry stakeholders, stresses the vital importance of implementing a Digital ID system to propel the transformation of the Sri Lankan economy. As a foundational pillar of a Digital Economy, the Digital ID holds immense potential to play an integral role in reshaping economic revival, safeguarding vulnerable communities with effective benefit transfers, enhancing tax revenues and accelerating development.
The Ceylon Chamber expresses deep concern over continued delays in establishing the Digital ID and urges the Government of Sri Lanka to expedite and finalize this crucial initiative. Valuable lessons can be drawn from the experiences of nations such as India, Singapore, Thailand, and Kenya, which have made significant strides by investing in comprehensive digital ecosystems encompassing Digital ID, Digital Payments, and Broadband infrastructure. These countries exemplify how robust digital public infrastructure can accelerate economic growth and enhance global competitiveness.
The Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber Duminda Hulangamuwa emphasized that the provision of a distinctive digital identity for both citizens and businesses through the Digital ID not only streamlines processes and enhances compliance but also drives efficiency in governmental transactions. Furthermore, it serves as a catalyst for expanding the tax base, increasing tax revenues, and minimizing leakage, all while avoiding undue burden on the public through heightened direct taxation and regressive indirect taxes.
The Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) and the Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) further stressed the imperative need to fast-track the implementation of the Digital ID. ‘The Digital ID is the baseline for all digital transformation in the country, encompassing both government and the private sector’, Indika de Zoysa, Chairman – FITIS stated, while Jehan Perinpanayagam, Chairman – SLASSCOM encouraged the ‘authorities to expedite the implementation of this project, as it is very much in line with the vision of a digital economy shared by the President, and will be vital in the reform agenda, preventing fraud and mismanagement, widening the tax base, and improving efficiencies for all citizens.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is committed to facilitating a digitally progressive Sri Lanka and is keen to collaborate with the government and other ecosystem stakeholders to create an enabling environment for the implementation of the Digital ID. We believe that the implementation of the Digital ID is an absolute necessity for our nation's growth and prosperity. It is the catalyst that will usher Sri Lanka into a new era of a digital economy, ensuring we remain competitive on the global stage.