What the Government should do to get rid of the present financial crisis ailing the country?
Posted on January 1st, 2022

Dr Sudath Gunasekara. Mahanuwara 30.9 2021

(A. republication) 2.1.2021

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Definitely one doesn’t need to be a financial or an economic wizard or a John Keynes to un-mess this mess that has emerged as a direct result of mismanagement of the nation’s economy by all those who were in charge of Governance in this country, since 1977. What you need is only common sense and the guts to take a decision do it. Therefore the following set of proposals is listed here for the consideration and immediate action by the Government.”Lindata wetunu miniha linkatenma goda enta one’ is the most appropriate adage I can quote here. This mess is nothing but a collective mess created by our own politicians. Therefore the onerous of taking the full responsibility for this national crime as well as finding a suitable remedy for the malady, they themselves have jointly created, also falls definitely on all their heads, including those who are dead and gone to hell.

The present government must take these decisions immediately before the situation become worse that might lead even to a civil war against it, going by the way how things are already getting out of control around the country. A stitch in time saves nine. But in doing so I must warn the government that it has to completely forget about the vote fever, because it is your responsibility and unbounded duty by the nation at this critical time.

35 very important steps that have to be taken immediately to ease the present crisis.

1 Stop all extravagant and wasteful expenses of the government

2 Ban the import of all luxury and non-essential goods

3 Increase the prices of local products to encourage local production

4 Remove extra perks to all politicians and public Servants (It is said that 85% of national income is spent on maintaining politicians and public servants supposed to be the highest per-man ratio in the world)

5 Stop all state tamasas and useless political functions for image building and meetings of public servants to the bare minimum limiting them to the most essentials. 

6 Close down all Governors Offices and allow the Government Agents and Divisional AGAA andGrama Seva Niladharis to run the Administration and Coordination of development in their Districts, Divisions and Graama Niladhari Units

7 Close down the 9 Provincial Councils epidemic permanently now that they have ceased to function almost for the past 5 years without any disruption of day to day to governance of the country. Attaché public servants displaced as a result to suitable Government offices in the districts

    Use the PG buildings to house public offices presently housed on rented out buildings.

     And transfer the functions done by the PCC to the GAA’s and AGAA’s offices and the respective line Ministry sub-offices in the Districts so that the smooth delivery of services to people will continue uninterrupted.

8 Scrap all superfluous government institutions such as mushroom Ministries, Departments and statutory bodies created to provide jobs for supporters of politicians

9 Reduce the number of Ministers and Ministries to 15 and appoint a Minister and a Deputy under him to run each Ministry instead of having 70 different Ministries, 30 Cabinet and 40 State Ministers, (as if the Cabinet Ministers are not Ministers of the Sri Lankan State at present) in this small country just to provide employment for a set of unproductive Politicians at high cost just to keep them satisfied with no substantive contribution to the country but has only increased  duplication, waste, corruption, confusion, inefficiency and rivalry among them. This move will drastically reduce the number of wasteful institutions, excess officials, waste and corruption and also reduce hundreds of government institutions that waste billions of public funds with no substantive contribution to the country but making us a nation of beggars.

10 Close down all the Embassies and Consular Offices of smaller countries and ask the nearest Embassy to overlook them.

11 Close down all Pradeiya Sabhas (mere duplicates of Provincial Councils) and go back to the former VC system and allocate PS buildings to line departments working in the areas, and assign the present Members to their respective Village Council areas to work under the District Commissioners of Local Government

12 Stop payments for all officials for attending meetings, as they are only part of their official duties

13Limit the number of vehicles and personal staff to Ministers and Deputies including security

14 Withdraw official vehicles from all public officers and let all public servants to have their own vehicles to do their official travelling and pay a commuted allowance and mileage for travelling out of duty stations on official duties. Provide them with a loan to buy a vehicle like in the past for which the Govt need not provide drivers or fuel. It is interesting to note that even in America, whhic is supposed to be the richest country in the world no politician or public servant is given official vehicles, drivers or fuel and they have to pay even for parking in the parking lots.

15 Never renew the duty free Vehicle system to anybody including politicians and public servants. However the Government may have a system of duty free system of vehicles, machinery and raw material etc under strict and close supervision for agricultural and Industrial sector to promote development in those sectors.

16 Let the Public Servants run the Ministries under the general supervision of the respective Ministry Secretaries. Do away with the present practice of providing a band of personal staff that virtually run the Ministries today making it a mockery and a mere political party office killing the spirit and the essence of an impartial public service. Provide only a private Secretary.

17 Stop providing houses for Politicians in Colombo. Instead provide them with a common place, like in the past (Sravasti) for them to stay when they come to Colombo on duty for the 8 days they are expected to attend so that they will be compelled to live in their electorates for the rest of the month.

Transactions in Embassies

18 Get the Diplomats to attend to all government to Government business and cut down all unnecessary foreign travel for politicians except under very special situations

The need to have the Supply and Cadre Division in the Treasury reactivated and strictly complied with its rules and regulations

19 Get the Treasury to have fixed cadre for all Ministries and Government Departments and statutory bodies and corporations that should not be exceeded without the prior approval of the Treasury to expenditure under treasury control and to stop packing public institutions with unqualified political appointees

20 Remove all excess staff of all public institutions as early as possible after a quick survey by the Supply and Cadre Division.

21 Give all Government institutions daily, monthly and annual targets to ensure that every person does a quantum of work for the money he/she is paid and hold the heads of the Divisions responsible for running those institutions efficiently and profitably

Payment of fabulous salaries for certain public Sector employees

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          22 Stop all fabulous salary payments made to some people Like the Chairman of Air Lanka for example which was reported in the press few days ago as Rs 32 lahks a month.

Recovery of CB scan money

23Take immediate action to recover money robed from the CB and confiscate the properties of all found guilty in addition to other punishments under law.

24 Entrust Administration to professional public servants and stop politicians from meddling with day to day Administration of Government institutions and thereby disrupting smooth governance of the country.

25 Also close down Regional and Divisional offices of Government Departments and corporations etc opened in the recent past just to recruit more people to public Service as a fashion without considering the ramifications involved in public spending with no parallel improvement in the delivery of public services.

National Austerity Year

26 Declare a national Austerity year and Agricultural Production year and give top priority for self-sufficiency and export development in the agricultural sector.

Remove all duel citizens from Parliament

27 Remove all Ministers and MPP who are dual citizens both in the Govt and the opposition in Parliament immediately as they are persons with divided allegiance and keep those places vacant until a general election 

 Inquire in to assets of MPP in Parliament form 1977

28 Initiate actions to Identify Politicians who have been in Parliament from 1970 and investigate their assets at the time of joining and the present and confiscate all wealth proved had been illegally a)amazed and remove the civil right of those found guilty for life

Defeated Politicians holding public positions

29 Remove all defeated and ex-politicians holding appointments as Diplomatas, and any other post at Home like Chairmen of state institutions and replace them with professional men who can do those jobs to increase efficiency and profit.

The need for a vigorous national food Production Drive

30 Commence a vigorous National food Production Drive in the agricultural and livestock sectors with a full gear of the Government like loans, implements, fertilizer, guaranteed prices and extension services, storage and marketing facilities for domestic and export market with incentives like tax concessions to be followed up with a staggered import ban on all items on all Agricultural an dallied products.

Reduce the number of politicians and public servants in the country

31 I have found that the number of Politicians and public servants has undergone a tremendous increase since 1977 due to increasing the number of public institutions and multiplying administrative divisions like GS and Local Government units. As a result it has been reported that today there is one politician for every 3232 persons and one public servant for every 16 people in this country and 85 % of annual public revenue is spent on the upkeep of politicians and public servants. This I think is the highest figure for any country in the world. In addition to this curse, is the very high expenditure on social welfare, like health, education and public relief that has to be met with the balance 15 %. No wonder the country’s economy has fallen to this level.

Reduce the extremely high number of Public holidays for any country in the world as it we are living in the Aalakamandaava.

32 Reduce the extremely high number of Public holidays to internationally accepted average of 12 per year to increase the number of man days that could be gainfully used for development

For example you can use the following model

National Holidays

1April 13th and 14th Sinhala New Year day    2days

2 Vesak Poya                                                     2 days

3 Republic Day May 22                                     1 day

4 Poson Poya Jatika dinaya                              1 day

5 National heroes Day (has to be decided)   1 Day (May 9) LTTE Defeat

Optional Public Holidays. Sundays 12/ or the balance 10 Depoya Common to all   to be decided after discussion. This will make the total no of Public holidays  either  17 or 19  This will boost production in all sectors due to an increase in the number of working hours           

All other holidays presently declared as National Holidays like Christmass, Good Friday. Maha Sivaratri, Deepawali Thaipongal, Mohomads Birth Day, Hajji Festival, Ramasan Should be declared holidays only for the respective religious communities. This I think is the best arrangement any Government should make to protect the country’s Sinhala Buddhist identity.

33 Withdraw political rights from all public servants, other than the right to vote to bring back discipline and sanity to public service so that we can have an efficient and productive and disciplined loyal public service under strict supervision of the immediate supervisory officers.

34 Remove the 29 National list MPP from Parliament who are not elected by the people by a motion with the consensus of other parties pending Amendment to the Constitution.

35 Stop payment of bonuses and overtime in all institutions that don’t show a profit in their annual balance sheets and also make annual confidential reports compulsory in all Ministries, departments and statutory institutions

Important: I request some one knowledgeable and competent to calculate the net savings that would accrue to the Government under the implementation of each of these items, if they are implemented.

This is only a few important ideas that came to one man’s head at random. I invite readers to add any other important issue that comes to their mind to make the operation a fuller success.

                                 පාලකයින්ට ණුවන පහල වේවා!

                     මගේ රටත් ජාතියත් මේ අර්බුධයෙන් ගොඩ ඒවා

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