New Finance Minister sees country’s private sector as vanguard of growth
The country at the time of the change of government in 2015 was like the Meethotamulla garbage dump, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday.
Moving seven resolutions under the Appropriation Act for debate, the new Finance Minister said: “I had serious doubts when I accepted this portfolio. I was wondering whether the shoes were too big for my feet. Many illustrious political leaders and statesmen of the past held this post. Among them were people like Ronnie de Mel, N. M. Perera, J. R. Jayewardene and Felix Dias Bandaranaike. I hope to obtain the expertise of both government and private sector leaders to do my best.
“I have accepted this portfolio at a time when a strong foundation has been laid down to develop the economy faced with a heavy debt burden. That foundation was laid down by my predecessor, incumbent Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
“When I saw the recent Meethotamulla disaster, it struck my mind that there was no difference between that garbage dump and the country we accepted on Jan 08, 2015. On one side there is a heap of dead bodies of journalists, of children who had asked for drinking water and others. The country was internationally isolated. The UN had been forced by the rest of members of the international community to commence an investigation against us without asking for our consent. They we had to contend with the problem of loans to the tune of Rs 8,503 billion. There had been no fiscal discipline and the Treasury was empty. We have been able to put the country’s economy on the right track again. The former President had to hide in a van carrying bread to reach a foreign airport to avoid protesters. Our fishermen lost the opportunity to sell their products to Europe. Before completion of two years, we managed to obtain GSP Plus. Last March, 48 other nations voted for us to secure GSP Plus. The president and the prime minister are invited by other nations.
“We have to accept the fact that those who died were Sri Lankans whether they were from the North or the South.
“I see the private sector as the vanguard of our economy. We would obtain their contribution for the development of our economy. This economic structure is based on open economic policies introduced by former President JR Jayewardene. We need to introduce several reforms in keeping with the latest developments in international economic realm. We will convert this country into an economic hub in the Indian Ocean by 2025.”
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)
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Mr Amarakoon, don’t you think it is a shame to get rid of Mr Ravi the world famous, award winning, super sonic our former fiance minister even his budget only last for 2 days.
I am still waiting for this Volkswagen factory ( foundation stone was laid at Kurunagala) the mega polis) (foundation stone laid at Homagama) and the 3 Singapore state of the art hospitals these gyes promised.
Now the new fiance minister promising us We will convert this country into an economic hub in the Indian Ocean by 2025.” do you have any idea how he is going to do that.
Please help me with this because I don’t have a clue how he is going to do that and I don’t think he got a clue
But he is on the right path, he started with Meethotamulla rubbish dump. That’s the priority any finace minister sort out.
Brother Ranjith. Unfortunately I can’t see my posting. Yes, in my opinion Government of Sri Lanka should have kept Ravi the world famous award winning Finance Minister. Besides, Mangala Samaraweera was a Lap-dog of UNHRC, UN and some ICs. In Sri lanka, we don’t do ‘ Oluwa amaruwata kotte maru kirima” . This means we do not Change Pillows to get rid of a head ache. I agree with you regarding the Meethotamulla Rubbish dump. It should be a priority.
Well 2025 Economic Hub: Sri Lanka? no way. The way things unfolding eg. ETCA, Sri Lanka will be only a spoke in the Indian Economic Hub!
it is indeed a tough task to undo a legacy left by his decorated predecessor if not worthy ravi. Is it likely that the few who would mourn his departure will follow his trail particularly those in the CB. Most likely those who stay back will be able to command as much respect mangala who is no less educated and just as much as experience in manipulating people to achieve his end!
What qualifies this vanguard Mangala soeaks of is questioable. He has refrred to meethotamulla twice in his declaration iam sure he could have found a better analogue for meethotamulla is synonymous with the swamp that is been referred to. It is only natural that the swamp will continue to grow and Mangala is no more capable of draining it that ravi.
Before mangala gets lost in the labrynth of fiscal policy he ought to get a very very clear picture of as to how many millions ar doallars are at his disposal and the current exchange in relation to the dollar! If you are cluless about then tell the public that how manyy bikkions of rupees are brought into circulation. These parameters are tangible and easy to understand. Then you can speak of the foundation you speak of.
as i write i try to figure out what this vanguard you talk of …….maybe the small shop keeper! or the paddy producer!
Dear Nr Amarakoon there is a saying rate (country) minissu (people) hatiyata rate aunduwa( goverment) and rate aunduwe hatiyata rate minissu.