By Chandra Jayaratne –
My Dear Professional Economists ?
Is this story noted below appearing in the Front Page of the Sunday Observer today, meant to fool us and all along with all the the citizens of Sri Lanka and make us Venerate with “Sadu Sadhu” and hands above our heads, the Development Strategy that unfolds in the horizon or is it only a Personal Strategy for Brownie Points in the face of the impending Cabinet Reshuffle and needs to be ignored?
What ever your answer to above be, is it not time ripe for the professional voices of Economists to be heard by those in Politics, Governance, Business and leadership and also educate us, the simple citizens of this land, who have dedicated with determination to see growth and prosperity with equity, democracy and transparency bringing hope, empowerment and improved opportunities and life styles on a sustainable long term basis to all citizens of Sri Lanka , especially the young and youth of today.
The Million Dollar question to you as Economists is to assess and respond publicly and debate openly in media( therefore copied to media institution to encourage this debate) whether this goal of USD per Capita 10,000 by 2022 isan achievable target, even as an “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BEHAG) and will it equally share and enhance the lives and livelihoods of all citizens in the face of the governance framework envisaged based on the following key pillars of governance;
- With Constitutional safeguards being violated at will and dictatorial and closely held reins of power replacing participatory democratic governance
- With the total abandonment of good governance principles and best practices of administration,
- With a total Lack of transparency and parliamentary control over National Resource Allocations and National Debt management
- Without any respect for upholding the rule of Law, Effective Law Enforcement and Justice
- Without an Education and Higher Education Policy that develops value adding human resources to stimulate niche economic value creation with required productivity and quality
- With the export Sector not being supported
- Without adequate emphasis on Technology, research and encouraging creativity, productivity and best practice transfers
- With foreign investments being frightened off with Expropriation Acts, Rule of Law being ignored and several other visible negative governance moves
- With Complete State Capture, with Policy Capture Corruption and Nepotism being at the helm of affairs
- With a disastrous foreign policy and abandoning value chain links with India and putting the nose up at the US and EU our key trading and investment partners
- With foreign debt being the key source of public investments and high level budget deficit financing, with many investments lacking free cash flow returns and balance of payments support mainly by exporting our human resources as menial workers in the Middle East
- Good Initiatives at Conflict resolution and Development of Collective Sri Lankan Identity is being frustrated and seeds of religious hatred being fast spread and encouraged
Please look at the attached statement from the Sunday Observer beginning with the 17th April “Daily News” quote below
“Sri Lanka would increase its per capita income from the current US $ 2,399 in 2012 to US $ 4,400 in 2015. The country would also develop fast and would have a growth rate of around 9% during the period said Dr. T. Lalitha Gunaruwan, Senior Lecturer (Economics), University of Colombo,”
If we assume an annual growth rate of 10% per annum with a flat population level from 2016 till 2022 beginning from the prediction of Dr. Gunaruwan, the per capita GDP will be around USD 8,500? and at 11% annual growth rate USD 9100 and at 12.5% annual growth rate only will the per capita GDP be USD 10,000? Is there an embedded hope that relative movement of Exchange rates and inflation rates and population trends, like very high migration overseas, will play a significant role in the achievement beyond mere growth rates achieved each year?
Is this BEHAG realistic and worthy of belief and committment by us as a civil societyon current state of play in the globalized World Order and the policy and executive framework in force or is there an urgent need for a citizen led and developed “NEW VISION 2022″ with Strategic Action Programme to be debated and developed and publicly advocated?
Looking forward to your media based public response?
With warm appreciation and Best regards
Great strides under Mahinda Chinthana :
Govt targets $10,000 per capita income in 10 years
by Uditha KUMARASINGHE
Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said if President Mahinda Rajapaksa governs Sri Lanka for another 10 years, it would reach the standard of a developed country exceeding the per capita income of US$ 10,000.
“We should do our best to take the country forward by strengthening peace, democracy and co-existence among the communities,” he told the Sunday Observer yesterday.
The country has made great strides under the Mahinda Chinthana vision for the Future.
Therefore, as President Rajapaksa hopes, Sri Lanka will exceed the US$ 4000 per capita income by 2015.
The Minister said from the day the Mahinda Chinthana was introduced in 2005, the Government developed the economy and infrastructure facilities while waging a war against the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit.
Despite these challenges, the Government could bring down the inflation rate to a single digit and also increase its foreign reserves.
When the President assumed office in 2005, the per capita income of US$ 900 was increased to US$ 2,600. The Government has reduced the unemployment rate to four percent. In addition, the tourism sector has also recorded a dramatic improvement.
Dissanayake said that at present a massive economic resurgence has been launched under the Mahinda Chinthana. Investments too have shown a significant improvement.
“We defeated the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world. The LTTE rump, the world over is still attempting to resurrect the LTTE. These pro-LTTE elements are engaged in rackets in some Western countries.
They are attempting to destabilise the country again. Security measures should be further strengthened without providing any room to create such a situation in the country” he said.