Dhananath Fer­nando wins US$ 10,000 for Sri Lanka in Think Tank Shark Tank in Asia

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

Ad­vo­cata Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Dhananath Fer­nando won the Asia Think Tank Shark cham­pi­onship in Jakarta for a re­search study on ‘Cost of Con­struc­tion and pro­tec­tion­ism’.

Asia Think Tank Shark Tank is a cham­pi­onship for Asians to pitch their ideas on cre­at­ing im­pact on pub­lic pol­icy for help­ing eco­nomic pros­per­ity in Asia.

Dhananath con­tested in the fi­nal round with two fel­low con­tes­tants from Nepal and In­done­sia and won the Asia Think Tank Shark Tank Cham­pi­onship ti­tle with US$ 10,000 project grant for Sri Lanka to con­duct the study.

Dhananath made a strong case on the high cost of con­struc­tion in Sri Lanka and high­lighted that more than 10 mil­lion Sri Lankans will be ben­e­fited if the bor­der taxes were brought down which are un­be­liev­ably and un­fairly high at the mo­ment.

He ex­plained the to­tal taxes at the bor­der on wall tiles and floor tiles which is 108 per­cent, con­struc­tion steel which is 90 per­cent and san­i­tary ware (com­modes, squat­ting pans) which is 72 per­cent is com­pletely un­fair for a coun­try where about 10 mil­lion peo­ple dream­ing in their en­tire life to build a ba­sic house. He fur­ther high­lighted that cost of con­struc­tion is 40 per­cent - 60 per­cent higher in Sri Lanka com­pared to the re­li­gion which has neg­a­tively im­pacted the en­tire con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

Dr. Chatib Basri, the For­mer Fi­nance Min­ster of In­done­sia and Ash Cen­tre Se­nior Fel­low at the Har­vard Kennedy School - Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, Prof. Razeen Sally from Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Sin­ga­pore, Linda Whet­stone- Chair per­son at At­las Net­work,terry Kibbe – CEO and co-founder of Free the peo­ple in United States, Siegfried Her­zog Re­gional Di­rec­tor for East and South­east Asia in Friedrich Nau­mann Foun­da­tion for Free­dom were in the panel of judges.

Dhananath is cur­rently the Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer and a found­ing mem­ber of Ad­vo­cata In­sti­tute. He is a vol­un­teer at Can­dle Aid Lanka a hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tion and a mem­ber of the found­ing team since the in­cep­tion of ‘AK Lit Fest’ the plat­form for lo­cal lit­er­a­ture lovers.

He hosts two flag­ship TV shows on ART Tele­vi­sion namely ‘Pub­lic Space Sri Lanka’ and ‘Wake Up with ART’. He is a grad­u­ate from At­las Lead­er­ship Academy, Wash­ing­ton DC and a Grad­u­ate from Uni­ver­sity of Colombo in Bio Sci­ence and Bio Chem­istry.

Dhananath Fer­nando re­ceiv­ing the award

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