25 October, 2020

Blog

Reliability Of Economic Statistics; Friday Forum Urges Govt To Seek A Credible Solution

Friday Forum shares with several others, including scholars, politicians and public officials, deep concern with the reliability of macro-economic aggregates published by government and related agencies. Estimates that lose credibility because of improbabilities, inconsistencies, neglect and errors cut down the usefulness of these vital estimates. More seriously, wrong and misleading estimates can lead to costly and even disastrous errors in policies with sad consequences for the public. Central to these indices are estimates of National Accounts.

Jayantha Dhanapala

Jayantha Dhanapala

Friday Forum, as a group of concerned citizens, urges government to seek a long term credible solution to these urgent problems. They see a Committee of Experts appointed by the President in his capacity as Minister of Finance as the most suitable instrument to inquire into the question and propose solutions.  A Committee of such nature will require diverse expertise in a variety of related disciplines. Someone rich in local experience in the use of these data in policy making can lead this Committee. Someone fully conversant with the System of National Accounts in its application in a developing country in the region and another with high expertise in the conduct of National Sample Surveys and the processing of survey data would be the key technical personnel. It would be forward looking to include two promising senior lecturers from two different universities in the country to further their expertise in the theory and the practice of estimating National Accounts and the principles of their application in policy making. Such Committee would need to work over 12-18 months to agree on proposals and work out their application on the ground. They will need substantial resources, which Friday Forum sees as an investment for the well being of the people of this country.

Friday forum urges members of the public to articulate these concerns more forcefully than hitherto and government to take measures that would leave a lasting impact now on policy making in the country.

Jayantha Dhanapala and Dr. Usvatte-Arrachchi on behalf of the Friday Forum

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    4

    “Friday forum urges members of the public to articulate these concerns more forcefully than hitherto and government to take measures that would leave a lasting impact now on policy making in the country.”

    When you read between the lines, this is inciting people to take up arms. “Articulating more forcefully” essentially means that.

    Dhanapala is a retired UN parasite who have lived off the sweat of the poor of the world and he is trying to fill his empty calendar these days with invitations to protests. Friday Forum has achieved nothing other than issuing documents like this.

    Why don’t you start the movement yourself, come on.

    • 0
      0

      Jaganath
      Please holdd on.
      Forcefully doesn’t mean taking up arms. It means very firmly.

    • 0
      0

      Jayantha dhanapala is asking for a “ARAB SPRING” in Sri Lanka.

      Every body knows what happened to Egypt, Libya, Syria, and other countries like Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq etc., etc.,

    • 1
      0

      Sri Lanka needs a National Planning Commission of independent experts to set policy and REVIEW data and statistics generated by Central Bank and Dept of Census and Statistics.
      There are already enough economic policy research institutes to generate studies and data – like IPS. They should be empowered with Human resources to do the job. Of course, so called Centre for Poverty analysis is a JOKE!

      The massive Cabinet of criminal clowns and morons who are an insult to all educated Sri Lankans excluding Sinhalaya Modayas) needs to be disbanded, and the clowns who are Minister of Education and Higher Education must be forced to resign..

    • 2
      0

      Greece infamously manipulated its macro-economic statistics. Greek Central Bank cronies were involved in the scam.

      Greece kept borrowing. Based on excellent credit worthiness of fellow Euro-Zone nations. Such as Germany.

      Greece is now bankrupt. Totally at he mercy of international lenders. Who rule Greece in reality.

      Some German legislators were even bent on putting beautiful Greek Islands on a sort of “foreclosure sale”. To raise funds. Greece has lost all dignity. Thanks to its’ corrupt ruling elite.

      For Sri Lanka repercussions will be far worse. Since we have a natioanl issue with seperatism based outside Sri Lanka.

      Should Sri Lanka go bankrupt, Ealamistas will end up with incredible leverage over Sri Lanka’s Independence.

      That is apart from severe economic hardships for all Sri Lankans.

      Ruling corrupt clan who mismanage our economy are the ultimate traitors.

      Cheers!

      • 0
        0

        It’s worse for SL because unlike Greece , SL is not part of a wider ethno-cultural union .
        Like vultures, China and India will circle around SL and extract as much concession from SL and its future generations. In the end SL will be beholden to Indians and Chinese, with many of SL’s resources sold off to the Chinese and or Indians.

      • 0
        0

        LEHMAN BROTHERS manipulated credit scores and other reports written on VeneZuela to benefit USA needs.

        that is what Hugo chaves said when he was living.

      • 0
        0

        Aptly put Ben !

      • 0
        0

        Ben, there is some outfit called the Pathfinder Foundation – a neoliberal IMF and WB friendly outfit run by Milinda Moragoda that wants to review economic policy in Sri Lanka..
        PF will support the Greek and Irish Model of debt re-negotiation when the Lanka economy crashes to the IMF and WB – either way the poor loose out and the inequality gap widens.. Notice that the World Bank and ADB are subsidizing the Rajapassa development plan and the Ministry of Defense via UDA and are very silent about the BAD GOVERNANCE and current economic crisis. The current Jarapassa economic model is what they prescribe and IMF and WB have a very high tolerance of CORRUPTION and Bad governance – contrary to their official spin!
        Its the same game, only players are different..
        UPFA or UNP same difference..
        We need REAL ALTERNATIVES – an AAP Aam Aadmi Party – and anti corruption pro-poor political party – as in India.

        • 0
          0

          Dinuk,

          “We need REAL ALTERNATIVES – an AAP Aam Aadmi Party”.

          Fully agree.

          SLFP UNP Merry-Go-Round should be ended now. That scam has continued too long.

          Cheers!

    • 0
      0

      “When you read between the lines, this is inciting people to take up arms. “Articulating more forcefully” essentially means that.”

      That’s your take on it. My take is that it calls for people to voice their protestation more publickly and or vocally.

  • 8
    1

    It is pathetic that everything whether it is the count of National economic statistics or human count or ballot count in this Nation depends on the needs of the Rajapakse family instead of the interest of the people of the Nation. The international financial institutions are happy to lend money because it is beneficial to them. The reality is the nation’s sovereignty and ownership is now handed over to international bodies.We will realise the nature of the truth when Rajapakse family is run away leaving us with nothing.

    • 3
      0

      Our CB Gov has been cooking up figures for several years now, pandering to those who employ him….when the sxxx finally hits the fan over Sri Lanka of course he and hisactually cronies will not be around to be held accountable! I often wonder how he carries on defiantly in the face of the opposing views of eminent economists – artificially propped the SL Rupee which is uniquein the world of not being accpted even in its national airline (failed Zimbabwe does!), misleading calculation of inflation according to his own formula, COL data when people are burdened to skip essentials, ad-hoc adjustment of Import duties to satisfy selected groups,the list goes on….

    • 0
      0

      Resent with typo corrections

      Our CB Gov has been cooking up figures for several years now, pandering to those who employ him….when the sxxx finally hits the fan over Sri Lanka of course he and his cronies will not be around to be held accountable! I often wonder how he carries on defiantly in the face of the opposing views of eminent economists – artificially propped the SL Rupee which is unique in the world of not being accpted even on its national airline (failed Zimbabwe does!), misleading calculation of inflation according to his own formula, COL data when people are burdened to skip essentials, ad-hoc adjustment of Import duties to satisfy selected groups,the list goes on….

  • 5
    1

    It is said, ” There are lies, bloody lies and statistics”. The one who first said this was indeed in the Sri Lankan context.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1
      1

      Correction: — was indeed a wise man in the—–.

      Dr.RN

  • 0
    0

    “There are lies bloody lies and statistics”

    in case of Sri Lanka

    There are lies bloody lies only
    because the statistics are also lies

  • 1
    2

    Friday Forum = LTTE.

    Whatever is bad for Tamils must be good for SL.

    • 0
      0

      The Moon is LTTE.

  • 0
    1

    Why Jayantha Dhanapala is not criticizing the corruptions of the establishment – UN – that he worked for ?

    Is the FRIDAY forum a collections of People who believe in the CREAOTR the ALMIGHTY. SO, it is made up of Sinhala and Tamil christians and Muslims ?

    • 1
      0

      why don’t you arrest him ? that would be lovely !

  • 4
    0

    Jayantha Dhanapala is a distinguished diplomat and a patriotic Sri Lankan. The venom of “Jaganath” cannot undo the important message that Drs Dhanapala and Usvatte-Arachchi have issued on behalf of the Friday Forum. We should be thankful for the Friday Forum for the constructive suggestions it has been making with no motive but the national interest in mind. In his/her/its crude comment, “Jaganath” reveals his/her/its ignorance and servility as a minion of the MR regime.

    • 3
      0

      I fully agree….in Sri Lanka its traditional to shoot the messenger and not trying to understand blatant issues staring at us daily!

  • 3
    0

    Some one should write a text book on the Sri Lankan Economy. It seems to defy all existing Economic theory !

    For example can foreign remittances be taken as foreign direct investment ?

  • 2
    0

    It would be better to have foreign experts on this panel to ensure that accepted international standards are adhered to and that the panel is truly independent.

    “Borrowing at high rates increases foreign debt servicing costs due to both the increase in debt and the higher interest costs. At this rate of interest, principal and interest payments will double every eight years, and if GDP does not grow as fast as the debt, then the debt burden as a proportion of GDP will increase, making it more difficult to meet the country’s total external debt obligations.
    The large amount of foreign borrowing, much of it at commercial interest rates, has resulted in a huge debt servicing cost that requires further borrowing to service debt and compounds the problem. It is, therefore, imperative that foreign debt is reduced so that the debt servicing costs are contained at manageable levels, so that the country does not run the risk of being caught up in a vicious debt trap.
    Furthermore, when borrowed funds are invested in activities that have low returns and mostly confined to non-tradable activities, it becomes increasingly difficult to service the debt. In the final analysis, a country can pay off its debt only by generating trade surpluses.”

    So it seems that CBSL would like to massage the figures and cook the books to paint a rosy picture. However this will not prevent us from hitting the inevitable debt trap just like the Stock Market bubble burst a few years back.

  • 0
    0

    Why? Whats wrong? If friday forum people are happy with the Mahawamsa then what is different about the governments statistics and calculations. Hypocrites!

    I think the government is right. Those who want fantasy should be given large and liberal doses of it. Lets go straight to 100% or better still an infinite GDP Growth and the Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka -now famous all over the world – will well up with pride and worship their sinhala buddhist leaders…

  • 0
    0

    We need accurate date system to operated by advance computer programme
    that monitor the adverse effect of National Gross Production and National Income assessment of that growth of SRI LANKA ECONOMY. The crux of matter, not that data only real economic path and model of growth is more important. Ongoing National Economy Development path is still all evidence should have led such simple realization Sri Lankan to take a risk of magnitude. This OLD FORMULA OF SECURITY,STABILITY AND ECONOMIC INTEREST THAT HAD LONG LED BY IMF WORLD BANK AND WERTERN TO DOMINATE,IS NO LONGER APPLICABLE FOR SRI LANKAN’ ECONOMIC ILLS.
    Major MSC, & Indian big corporations were active in the inside our Island as well as region. But their criteria applied for protecting their PROFIT and control of natural resources Oil, Natural Gas, Arms and other consumer Goods were favorably impacting policies of Western Multi-nationals.
    This economic advice and policies is uproot economic sovereignty,
    factors ranging from corruption, obsession with security and the structural limitation of a small market had made strategic deprive the nation development path by the West.
    We are demand by twin problems simultaneous
    1 Fiscal policy
    2 Monetary policies…..Low Interest Rates, large liquidity infusion drive debt ..financed ,private Investemnt and corruption. These are Institutionalized economy had been corrupted by West on ruling of top echelon in state officials and politicians in power.
    Our task is not anti-capitalist drive, our goal is a reform the system so it spreads its benefits more among people widely. National finical reform has in fact been really designed to make Capitalist Market Work better.

  • 3
    0

    Friday Forum should know by now through common experience as being held by most people that the blatant lies propagated by central bank and the census department pertaining to our economy are deliberately doctored to suit either the dictates or the ignorant pleasure of those who intend to remain permanently in power.This is the modus operandi of almost every emerging dictator who would want to hold their gullible masses under a false spell of charmed security and wonder and also give a misleading signal to the financial world.

  • 0
    0

    I think Jayantha dhanapala’s hidden motive is something else.

    • 1
      0

      what…..to castrate you ?

  • 2
    0

    You are fighting against MR regime because you are not given any position. Because you are just nothing. UNO any body can join if you have out door connections and political nomination. It a mafia business.

    Why do not you fight to clean Sri Lankan Universities from mafia and family business. 99% of professors are bogus out door connection based appointment. Do you want such people to supervise these statistics. Take Colombo University Econ. dept run by very corruptive emiritus with his family members and henchmen.

    Why not you expose and penalized their wrongly given prof positions. Take Kalaniya, Ruhuna, Sabaragamuwa, Rajarata and all other Universities. All Professors are bogus. Some even do not have first degrees (PIM, J’Pura) and 90% do not have PhDs or they got PhD from the Countries and Universities no person is going for higher studies. More than 80% Sri Lankan University Professors do not know what is ISI and SCOPUS indexed journals.

    Recheck qualification of all Sri Lankan Professors and VCs of Universities. You will see Mahinda’s government is 100% better than Sri Lankan mafia Universities.

    • 0
      0

      Prof,

      It is good to know not only Rajapakse regime but all the institutions under this regime are mafia group. In other words, Sri Lanka is run by Mafia group.

    • 0
      0

      You are right. One lady in Friday Forum gave full cover-ups for all wrong doings of so called corruptive family business dept in Colombo University. Then we have problem with integrity of Friday Forum itself.

  • 1
    1

    Jayantha Dhanapala’s level of bankrupcy is exposed here by having to hang on to something that Anura kumara Dissanayake said. Anura Kumara is known liar and a twister and here also he gives only a part from an inquiry report. He doesn’t table the report in parliament for had he done that his twist would have been exposed then and there. Now that he has done the damage which was his intention, it does not matter whether there is any truth in what he said.
    They know now that they have reached the end of their political life and as they did in 71 and 89 try one last time to do something to ruin the country.

  • 0
    0

    “Friday forum urges members of the public to articulate these concerns more forcefully than hitherto and government to take measures that would leave a lasting impact now on policy making in the country.”

    Jayanatha knows MR is the FM. He appears to be purposefully avoiding criticising the fault of the finance ministry. He is asking to more of more of what the people has been doing. What they did lately was bringing to power the three time party hopper Dhayashree with a record majority. If Jeyanatha wants more of it, they will be happy to do that in the Southern and Western PCs elections too.

    Jeyantha does not appear to be really asking people to do anything.(Best guess could be that he may be trying register something on his name so that if and when the country face some problems, he can say “that is what I said”.) There is nothing they can do about it.But, Jeyantha can do a lot about it. He has connections at IMF, World Bank, UN.. etc. He is just warning the Royal Family that incase if there is an international inquiry, they may want to have a puppet finance minister too.” He is suggesting “Have one of you brother to take part on this too”. That is how they dealt with the defense department and police department problem too. When the international community pressed to split it, then the brothers splitted it with themselfs.

    So there is a question on the motive of Jeyanatha, unless otherwise he is asking the people to rebel against the current finance minister, the President.

  • 0
    0

    Jayantha Danapala and the Friday forum should actually be asking the UNP the main opposition and DR.Harsha de Silva in particular to investigate this if they are really serious about this.
    If the government is cooking the data as alleged what is the point in asking them to look in to it?
    I Remember Dr. Harsha several times try to touch on this but never really came up with anything substantial.
    What they, Jayantha and the Friday forum are doing is seizing an opportunity to embarass the government.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.