Economic development goals:Long-term principles should not change - LYA

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By 2017-11-15

To achieve economic development goals, there should be long-term principles which do not change according to the wishes of governments, State Minister of Public Enterprise Development, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena pointed out.

Abeywardena made this remark during the second reading debate of the Appropriation Bill yesterday (14). "Due to not implementing long-term principles, we have lost so many golden opportunities which could have made the country developed like Singapore and Malaysia," he noted.

Abeywardena questioned that, "When investors are interested in coming to Sri Lanka, they have to face so many obstacles which make them disappointed. People sometimes argue that certain types of investments are harmful to the country's culture. I should remind them that leaders like Lee Kuan Yew always welcomed investors. That is how he created a developed Singapore. But it still continues to remain a multicultural country. If Singapore can do that, why can't Sri Lanka?"

"There are several reasons behind this. The first one is, as I said before, we do not have long-term principles. The changes which occur in the global economic and political arena affect our economy as well. By looking at the statistics, we can see that the global economic growth rate has reduced to 2%. Even India and China were unable to achieve their planned economic growth rate.

Although the oil prices have reduced significantly, the purchasing power of the people all over the world has declined. When we implement our targets we should take these global trends into account," he added.

Furthermore, the State Minister accepted that Sri Lanka has not achieved its economic targets after gaining independence in 1948.

Explaining as to why Sri Lanka could not achieve the development as expected, Abeywardena added that, "Sri Lanka currently has to deal with a colossal amount of foreign debts. There are millions of people who still struggle due to poverty. Our State income has reduced. We have not created the job opportunities as we expected. More than three million Sri Lankan citizens have left the country. Apart from all these facts, we have lost approximately 200,000 valuable lives as a result of the war and other tragic incidents."

"However, the proposed budget for 2018, has implemented a foundation to set up long-term principles. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has an accurate vision about what should be done to make Sri Lanka a developed country. Countries like Japan developed after the Second World War through encouraging entrepreneurs. This budget also focused on facilitating entrepreneurs and protecting them during crisis situations," he elaborated.

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