Don’t give popular promises for votes: Economy in crisis, warns Pathfinder Foundation
Posted on May 27th, 2015


The statement by Singapore statesman Lee Kuan Yew that ‘Sri Lankan democracy is a periodic auctioning of non-existent resources’ gained special significance during the past six months and the popular promises given by the new government through its interim budget has pushed the financial stability of the country into a grave crisis, points out the Pathfinder Foundation.

This is stated in ‘Let us plan a way towards common prosperity for all’- a publication by this Foundation which is keen on economic reforms and released to draw the attention of political parties to practical economic reforms that could up-lift the lives of all Sri Lankans and which would assist them in preparing their political party manifestos for the upcoming elections.

This publication was launched today (27 May) in Colombo by Pathfinder Foundation Executive Director Lakshman Siriwardene, Deputy Chairman Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy and Colombo University’s Department of Economics Professor Sirimal Abeyratne.

This publication points out that since Sri Lanka’s financial situation is likely to further deteriorate unless necessary action is taken on both its revenue and expenditure issues, it is vital for the political parties to be more attentive to their financial responsibilities when preparing their election manifestos for the parliamentary elections.

The Pathfinder Foundation has urged the political parties not to further mislead the people of Sri Lanka through allowances and reliefs that cannot be really granted and to take into consideration the costs involved in the allowances, reliefs and welfare measures that they include in their election manifestos.

The Foundation has also requested the political parties to include in their manifestos the means of gaining the costs for these relief measures etc. since it could make the people aware of how they could be really provided.

While commenting during the launch of this publication, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said what is essential for Sri Lanka is to create a favourable environment for investments and thus attracting more direct foreign investments towards the island.

Through this, it is vital for Sri Lanka to maintain an economic growth of around 10 per cent in the near future and that this essentially needs policy reforms, added Dr. Coomaraswamy.

Sri Lanka is currently at a juncture where speedy economic reforms are needed and there have been no significant economic reforms in Sri Lanka after President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s tenure, said Professor Sirimal Abeyratne while expressing his views.

He also added that if economic reforms are delayed then the costs of implementing them in the future would be heavy.

Photo caption: (from left) Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Lakshman Siriwardene and Professor Sirimal Abeyratne

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