PM took all policy decisions on economy till NEC appointment

Published : 9:16 am  October 5, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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  • NEC is headed by President; But decisions taken by PM who heads Econonomic Management cabinet sub committee 

 

LATE-CITY-MB_1-4By Sandun A Jayasekera

Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said it is not the National Economic Council Chaired by the President but the Cabinet Sub Committee on Economic Management Chaired by the Prime Minister that took all policy decisions regarding economic matters and the President has continuously raised these matters over the past three years.  

Minister Samarasinghe was responding to a question raised by a journalist at yesterday’s SLFP news briefing on a comment that had been made by a UNP backbencher at Sirikotha to ask the NEC led by President Sirisena as to what they have done about the current economic situation.   


The predictions of President Maithripala Sirisena in the last three years on the economy had been proved correct and he was trying his best to correct certain mistakes through the National Economic Council (NEC), the Minister said.  
Addressing SLFP’s weekly media briefing at the party office, Minister Samarasinge said President Sirisena held an extremely successful discussion between the NEC and the cream of business leaders, university dons on economics, Vice-Chancellors and top public officials led by governor of the Central Bank.   


“They focused on how the economy progresses amid the prevailing precarious situation that has been aggravated with the sharp depreciation of rupee against dollar, rising cost of living as a result of fuel price hike, dwindling FDI, withdrawal of foreign funds invested in the bond market and remedies to arrest the trend,” Minister Samarasinghe said.  

 

  • The government has injected US4 150 million to the money market to arrest the depreciation of rupee against the US dollar but it is not a long term solution
  • They focused on how the economy progresses amid the prevailing precarious situation that has been aggravated with the sharp depreciation of rupee against dollar, rising cost of living as a result of fuel price hike, dwindling FDI, withdrawal of foreign funds invested in the bond market and remedies to arrest the trend


Senior Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe presented a demonstration vividly highlighting the issues in the economy and strategies to come out of it. Business leaders like Harry Jayawardana, Mohan Pandithage and Dr. Samson Rajapaksa explained how the economy could be saved from this situation. All paticipants were of the view that the only sustainable solution is to increase exports and decrease imports.   


“The government has injected US4 150 million to the money market to arrest the depreciation of rupee against the US dollar but it is not a long term solution. The foreign reserves remaining at US$ 7.3 billion will be increased by another US$ one billion by December which would reflect on the economy positively and contribute to appreciate the rupee and reduce prices of essential commodities,” Minister Samarasinghe` said.   


Responding to a journalist, Ministr Samarasinghe said the restriction on duty free vehicle imports would be relaxed when the economy improves and value of rupee rises against the dollar. 

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