New economic policy for progress: Harsha

Published : 10:33 am  July 23, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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econ2By Yohan Perera
The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), if elected, will introduce sweeping changes to the county’s economy for the betterment of the ordinary people, Policy Planning Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said yesterday.
Dr. de Silva told a news conference that the UNFGG government’s economic policy will be centred on creating economic and social justice and competition-based economic practices.

He accused the previous regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa practicing crony capitalism, where only a handful of the regime’s cronies benefited and raked in large sums of money wrongfully.  
He said although the Rajapaksa administration criticized neo-liberalism, they expanded the state for the benefit of a few people.
“As a result, the economic inequality increased. The poor became poorer and the rich became richer.

We want to eliminate the prevailing income inequality where the poorest 20 percent of the population gets access to only 4 percent of the national income. This has remained static all throughout the year. But the richest 20 percent of the population has access to 55 percent. Mind you this has increased from 50 to 55 percent during the last few years,” he said.
He also charged that during the Rajapaksa regime the country’s Gini coefficient— a measure of income disparity— has worsened, reflecting the higher economic inequalities.

The deputy minister earlier signalled that the new economic policy will be formulated on a social market economy model practised in countries such as Germany.

He said that a team of reputed economists had been entrusted with the task. He noted that the complete details of the new economic policy would be known following the launch of the UNFGG manifesto today.
During the press briefing Silva assured that the UNFGG government would not use public funds for unprofitable investments.
He accused the previous Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal of investing public money in Greek bonds and shares of poultry firms listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange at exorbitant prices.

He said the prediction which he made on the investment on the Greek bond has become true today as the Greek economy has collapsed.
He also named the Rs.5 billion investment carried out by the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF)—managed by the Central Bank—in Canwill Holdings as a dud investment.

A comprehensive audit carried out to the accounts of Canwill Holdings by the new regime elected in January has discovered mass-scale fraud and financial irregularities.
The company incorporated during the previous regime was tasked to develop two five-star hotels in Colombo and Hambantota.
Upon completion of both the projects, the two hotels were to be handed over to Hyatt International for management.