By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Public servants are afraid of taking decisions and assuming responsibility as a result of them being taken to the FCID and Bribery Commission in the recent past, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.
“The SLPP Government will introduce new legislation to save public servants from victimisation on decisions taken by them in bona fide intentions on behalf of government policy. The government will always take care of these officials if and when they take decisions with good intentions. Once recognised as one of the most active work yards, Sri Lanka took a heavy beating and lost confidence in the economy and other spheres in the past four and a half years and as such the top priority of the SLPP Government would be to raise Sri Lanka to its former glory. Therefore, all must work with dedication and responsibility to achieve these goals,” he said.
Addressing officials and employees attached to the Finance Ministry after assuming duties as Finance, Economics and Policy Development Minister last morning, he went on to say the political authority led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would give its fullest support, cooperation, job security to public officials to carry out their official duties with confidence and accountability.
Recalling the achievements of a plethora of successes of Rajapaksa regimes between 2005 and 2014, he said the governments under him were able to maintain an economic progress of 6.8% in the midst of a global economic meltdown while GDP rose to USD 79 billion from USD 24 billion in 2005. Foreign reserves soared to USD 7.2 billion by 2014 from a mere USD 2 billion in 2005.
“What’s more? We were able to maintain a stable and healthy exchange rate at Rs.130 to the US Dollar right throughout in comparison to today’s Rs.180. Cost of living and taxes remained under a bearable level at our time. The debt ratio was brought down to 71% to the GDP by 2014 from a risky 91% to the GDP in 2005. The interest rate remained at a single digit in all these years and there was a steady inflow of FDI. That is how Sri Lanka was seen as one of the most robust work yards in Asia in our time. Unfortunately, all these achievements changed into an economic disaster after 2015 with the collapse of the monetary system,” he said.
- Says top priority of the SLPP Government will be to raise Sri Lanka to its former glory