Better ease of doing business for investment, plans public-private partnerships, one stop shop, and transparency for tax payers
By Uditha Jayasinghe
As the election race heats up Colombo mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda yesterday pledged to encourage investment opportunities in the capital and give transparency to tax payers.
Speaking at a press conference United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidate Milinda Moragoda noted that he plans to establish a committee to create a one stop shop for all administrative issues in the capital.
The committee, which will meet once a week, will bring together officials from the central government as well as the provincial councils to streamline business and other opportunities within Colombo.
“The Sri Lankan government’s aim is to make Colombo the most beautiful city by 2016. This is a very ambitious goal and it is clear that we will need a lot of investment. For development to happen very fast there must be a coordination agency that will network between private and public organisations. This is the goal of my committee,” he told Daily FT.
Moragoda outlined plans to increase foreign and local investment in the city. Private public partnerships will also be encouraged in Colombo if he comes into office. The committee will work with the central government and provincial council organisations to resolve logistical and legal issues that hinder city dwellers.
“One example is the three-wheeler drivers who have to go to the Road Development Ministry, Transport Ministry and a host of other organisations to have their business attended to. The committee that I propose will put an end to time and effort being wasted in going from place to place.”
This move is also expected to assist Colombo’s slum dwellers who are at the moment living in around 1600 ghettos within city limits. According to Moragoda only about 100 of these are administered by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC).
“I want to create a better life for the poor,” he stressed. They will not be the only benefactors as Moragoda is even planning to empower tax payers so that they can know how their money is used by the CMC.
“This is all part of the Right to Information law that I have pledged to pass in my manifesto. In my policy document I have clearly stated that I want transparency in all public transactions. Once the law is passed people can come and demand to see what projects have been done with the tax money.”