The Trust Sri Lanka consultancy service for small and medium businesses (SMEs) held its inaugural seminar at Monarch Imperial in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte on March 26.
Leader of the 43 Brigade Patali Champika Ranawa chaired the event, also attended by entreprenuer Dilith Jayaweera who has forayed into politics now.
The 43 Brigade is providing weekly services for SMEs, which account for 80 percent of total businesses and 45 pc of the job market, to resolve their issues.
At the launch, focus was on five key issues - the Central Bank urged to bring down bank interest rates, calls for tax holidays for SMEs of up to three years already enjoyed by large-scale enterprises, promoting the export aspects and e-business, a dedicated banking service for SMEs and a separate agency to serve their needs.
MP Ranawaka delivered the keynote lecture, while lawyer Hasitha Gamage elaborated on legal issues of SMEs, followed by lectures on banking matters by former banker Sumathipala Kariyawasam and on entrepreneurship by chartered accountant Chaminda Kumarasiri.
A panel discussion followed, with finance secretary of the 43 Brigade Sumedha Ratnayake too among the resource persons, in addition to Dr. Harsha Gamage and Nandika Batepola who served as financial and resources contributors.
Special invitees on the occasion included former deputy minister Karu Paranawithana, MP Lalith Ellawala and former Kotte mayor Janaka Ranawaka.
It also saw the launch of Trust Sri Lanka’s official website www.trustsrilanka.org, which links itself with the SMEs.