President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with the women entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Enterprises sector in order to solicit their views and proposals for the 2014 budget preparations at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (8).
The businesswomen made submissions on the problems they encounter in their trades and what they anticipate from next year's budget. They told the President that they were not receiving the incentives granted to them by the Government.
The President assured to send some senior Government officials to look into the problems encountered in villages.
The women entrepreneurs presented a series of proposals to the President on how their contribution could be profitably used for the development of the country. Achieving a new technology for industrial activities, organizing District level exhibitions, receiving loans on concessionary terms and securing relief in the registration of their enterprises were some of the submissions made by them.
Those representing food production, livestock and fresh milk, manufacture of yoghurt, handicraft, batik and garment manufacture, fibre based products, sculpture and ornamental fish participated in this meeting.
Speaking to them, the President said that the people were facing tremendous difficulties as decisions taken during discussions held in Colombo were not being properly put into action at the rural level. It is the onus of the Ministry officials to visit the villages and make inquiries into this effect. The President emphasized that serious injustice was being caused to the country and the people as officials do not fulfill their responsibilities.
The President also noted that many women had lost their job opportunities. Handloom industries were shut down in the past. Jobs in cottage industries for women have declined. There is a 95 percent of women's representation in the public sector today. He told the gathering that the Government would provide whatever concessions it could and to launch industries exploiting to the maximum available resources in the villages.