THE PRIVATE SECTORS OF SRI LANKA IS EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT
Posted on July 1st, 2022

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

According to the general understanding, the government sector and the private sector are equally responsible for the management of the economy, however, since the 1956 election, the responsibility of the management of the economy was unequally transferred to the public sector and this process was incurred by the nationalization of private enterprises, controlling the private investments and the spreading of the concept of socialism in the country that discouraged private investors and massively created investment problems in the country. The macroeconomic problems of the country were related to unemployment, distribution of income, increasing population more than the size of the country and many other problems. The changes in the concept of economic management have been significantly harmed and the policies of all governments elected after 1956 have supported misguided policies than addressing the issues.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and the promotion of private investments in Russia and China since the 1990s clearly showed how private sectors are responsible for economic management in a country. However, this truth was not understood by stupid policymakers in Sri Lanka and they advised the government to take massive responsibility for investment in the public sector and a large volume of investment through misguided policies turned to the public sector.

The brushing aside investment in the private sector promoted attitude problems among Sri Lankans and it could be observed that negative attitudes of people when you talk to Sri Lankans. The truth is the investing capacity of the public sector is very lower but Sri Lankans put faith in the public sector disregarding the promotion of the private sector.  Compare to many Asian African and Latin American countries Sri Lankans have lower-level thinking concerning knowledge of English, the school studied and many matters. These are called attitude problems. I observed when I was working in the Bank of Ceylon before 1990, that graduates officers from villages were contempt by officers who studied in Colombo schools who had little knowledge of the subject area. The major reason for this situation was the attitude problems of people who studied in Colombo schools. The administrator of Colombo schools and old boys and girls socies of Colombo schools have been continuing the negative thinking.

The private sector in Sri Lanka is equally responsible economic management of the country. To achieve this, the government must privatize all enterprises and give responsibility to private investors, and the government should work as a regulatory authority. In this situation, the government should not be playing a double role as a regulator and market player in various areas. What is happening in Sri Lanka is the government plays the role of market player and regulator. 

In certain areas of the economy where the private sector could not make investments, the government can give investment support to private investors. The responsibility of investment would transfer to private entrepreneurs and the government could support private investors in a various way. 

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