Markets are today behaving in the most ruthless fashion – Vasu
Posted on November 14th, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara says that the Budget presented by the Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa is an ‘extraordinary’ one and is beyond the tradition.

He said the budget proposal has grappled with the main issues and it has provided certain measures and certain allocations in order to overcome some of the most important problems which affect the people. 

Speaking to reporters today (14), the Minister of Water Supply said he believes a huge amount of funds have been allocated for the agriculture sector through the budget and that this agricultural leap forwards will lay the foundation for the country’s productive economy.

We depend very much on trading or the service economy. Now we are moving on to the production economy which is going to make a big change in the future,” he said. 

The minister, however, pointed out that they have certain concerns with regard to certain proposals. 

The concern we have is that the market forces have been allowed to take its own course. The markets have been freed of any controls. Markets are today behaving in the most ruthless fashion in increasing their prices and increasing their profits,” he charged. 

He said the people are the victims, particularly those who are not with a high income, those who are dependent on a salary, those who dependent on a limited income, and even those earning wages up to Rs. 50,000 for a family of four.  The situation is pathetic.” 

He said that therefore either the government should intervene and organize trade and become a competitor in wholesale and retail trading through the cooperatives network and thus make available to the people the essentials at reasonable prices. 

If not the people who are unable to meet the cost of living due to the high prices need to be given an allowance immediately, he said.  

I don’t know how much this relief packet will carry and how far it will carry. What it contains and what number of people will be absorbed into it, we do not know.  We are yet to see,” Nanayakkara said. 

However, he said they see that the present price levels are unbearable to the people who have a limited income or who have a mere salary. Therefore something needs to be done about it.” 

The minister further said that the dollar crisis has been created more by the speculators than by the real shortage of dollars. He conceded that Sri Lanka is short of dollars due to the tourism industry being in the doldrums in the last year or so. 

But apart from that those who earn dollars do not bring them into the country. They try to make more rupees out of the dollars having waited for the rupee to fall further down,” he said.

They hope that the rupee will depreciate so that they get more rupees when they come late with their dollars. These are matters which need to be corrected. I don’t know how far the government will be able to do this, but the need of the hour is to ensure that we get all the dollars earned,” he added. 

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