Govt. in talks with WB to transform economy–PM

Published : 9:14 am  May 17, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (19) reads | 

Life-1-1By Yohan Perera

Sri Lanka was currently discussing with the World Bank (WB) to transform and modernize various sectors of the economy, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday.

 

Speaking the signing of agreements under World Bank aided Agriculture Sector modernization programme, the Prime Minister said Sri Lanka was currently in discussion with the World Bank on what to do to make various sectors of the economy vibrant.


“Debt servicing is still an issue for Sri Lanka as its annual foreign debt service will be $ 2,500 million in the coming years but Government will allocate funds for other purposes as well,” the Prime Minister said.


“We are looking towards trebling its export revenue and foreign direct investments within the next decade,” the Prime Minister added. “Sectors such as agriculture need to be modernized and transformed so that the younger people will remain with the industry. If we cannot do that more and more people will leave the villages and come to urban areas. Besides developing of the rural economy is essential for the overall economic development,” he also said.
Mr Wickremesinghe said Minister Daya Gamage’s Ministry was named Primary Industries as its main function is transforming and modernizing sectors such as Agriculture.  He said modernization of agriculture has not taken place in South Asia while other countries such as USA, Thailand and China had done it.


Minister Gamage said Sri Lanka could also follow China and open paddy plant factories where paddy is originally grown.


“If we open paddy plant factories such as in China where paddy plants are grown in factories and then planted in the field expenditure incurred for pesticides could be saved, while the amount of water used will also be less,” the Minister said.


Also, he said Sri Lanka could diversify crops go for new plantations other than depending on crops such as tea.


World Bank Country Director Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough said Sri Lanka should modernize and commercialize its agriculture so that rural communities could benefit further and earn a higher income.


She stressed for the quick implementation of the Agriculture modernization program.