Sri Lanka business chamber approves devaluation

Nov 22, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s main business chamber has approved the sudden devaluation of the rupee saying it would boost exports and urged the government to consult plantation firms whose uncultivated lands are being taken. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the government’s 2012 budget presented to parliament Monday “maintains the consistent fiscal framework announced two years ago” since the end of the island’s ethnic war in 2009.

“The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is pleased to note that the tax reforms announced in the last budget has been upheld in this budget with additional incentives to promote investments and a few further simplifications to the tax structure,” a statement said.

“The Ceylon Chamber considers the move to depreciate the Sri Lankan rupee as a signal on moving towards a flexible and a more competitive exchange rate regime,” it said.

” . . . we strongly believe that a competitive exchange rate is vital for the development of the export sector which would bear on Sri Lanka achieving the investments (domestic and foreign) and growth targets set out in the policy document of the government.”

Analysts say a devaluation destroys the real value of salaries of workers and increases the