State Minister of Primary Industries, Mr. Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, announced plans to unlock significant economic potential from the 5,000 acres of land owned by Sri Lanka Cement Corporation. The initiative aims to generate USD 300 million annually, bolstering the nation’s economy and demonstrating efficient resource utilization.
The State Minister also stressed the imperative of leveraging our nation’s available resources to propel its development, regardless of any challenges that may arise, emphasizing the need to build the country steadfastly.
The announcement was made during a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country,” held at the President’s Media Centre (PMC) today (07). While specific details about the chosen organization and the planned development remain unavailable, the initiative signifies a significant step towards economic growth and resource optimization
In his address, the State Minister acknowledged the challenges inherited upon taking office, including struggling institutions within his ministry. He emphasized the success in revitalizing the Gem and Jewellery Authority, showcasing a significant increase in annual revenue from USD 280 million to USD 480 million. He further commended the revival of the Walachchenai Paper Factory, highlighting its current ability to sustain operations and employee salaries despite not yet achieving profitability.
“While our phosphate company possesses valuable mineral resources estimated at Rs. 24 million, legal challenges from NGOs currently prevent us from profiting from them. Despite this hurdle, we successfully generated income through phosphate sales, enabling us to cover all loans, fulfil salary payments, and contribute Rs. 350 million to the Treasury.”
“Similarly, we generated profit from salt mines in Elephant Pass and Mannar, further contributing Rs. 100 million to the Treasury. These examples demonstrate the potential of utilizing our nation’s resources for economic benefit.”
“However, challenges such as legal cases against phosphate exports can arise. While these obstacles exist, we must not be discouraged. Giving up on resource utilization due to difficulties would be a disservice to our struggling nation. In these times, maximizing the potential of our resources becomes even more crucial”, the State Minister further explained.
The Sri Lanka Cement Corporation, currently holding 5,000 acres of land rich in mineral resources, is on the verge of being restructured. With arrangements in place to develop it, the corporation is expected to generate revenue of around USD 300 million annually, making a significant contribution to the nation’s economy. An institution has already been selected to propose a plan for this transformation.
Furthermore, the tourism industry in Ella is thriving, attracting 3,000 visitors daily. This shows a vast potential for tourism growth across the country, which can be harnessed to further development.
State Minister Dassanayake further emphasized the importance of capitalizing on these opportunities for the betterment of Sri Lanka.
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