COLOMBO : The Colombo Young Men Buddhist Association (YMBA) with the presence of over 125 years in association with Jaffna Chamber of Commerce successfully held a discussion on One Sri Lanka Dialogue – Impact of Budget 2024 on Youth, Women and SMEs on 20th November 2023 at the Board Room – Colombo YMBA.
It was organized by Mahendra Jayasekera, Lanka Tiles CEO, corporate leader and the President of Colombo, YMBA.
The panelists include Sanjaya Bandara President of CA Sri Lanka, Janith Wickramasinghe of Fiverr Community Leader Sri Lanka, Chaaminda Kumarasiri the Chairman / Principal Consultant at H C P Consulting, Dhananath Fernando the Chief Executive Officer of Advocata, Mr.Ramalingam Sentitcumaran an Attorney at Law, Corporate Secretary- Jaffna Chamber of Commerce and Ms. Ajra Azhar, Attorney at Law, Director – Colombo Associates and News Editor Legal at Colombo Times.
In her speech, the speaker, Ajra Azhar, young female entrepreneur in the field of law recently returned from the International Bar Association Conference in Paris, addressed the 2024 budget dialogue.
Commending allocations for women and youth empowerment, economic development, and social welfare, the speaker acknowledged positive aspects while highlighting past transparency issues and suggesting improvements. Emphasizing the importance of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB), the speaker suggested strategic planning, robust oversight, and transparency enhancements.
Additional recommendations included inclusive procurement policies, targeted STEM support for women, diversity benchmarks for corporations, tax incentives for women-friendly policies, and a Productivity Solutions Grant.
The speaker, a female entrepreneur in law, stressed the need for full implementation with transparent mechanisms to ensure effectiveness and public trust, urging a commitment to a socially inclusive and economically robust future. The concluding call is for Budget 2024 to move from women’s development to women-led development.
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