By Yohan Perera
The United National Party (UNP) will always support the government to implement an effective economic stimulus package to revive the economy which is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, UNP National Organiser Navin Dissanayke said yesterday.
Mr. Dissanayke told a news conference that his party would act in a responsible manner and would not play politics at this time when a global pandemic was going on. “We will not play politics at this time even though our party members force us to be more active when it comes to politics. We don’t want to jeopardize the government at this point” he said.
However he ruled out the UNP playing an active role in the government together with the ruling party. At the same time he said his party had officially called for an effective stimulus package with more funding. “Sri Lanka had only allocated US dollars 174 million for a stimulus package compared to most other countries in the region.” India had allocated dollars 105,284 million, Bangladesh dollars 11,300million, Bhutan dollars 431million and Maldives dollars 163 million.
Sri Lanka’s allocation for the package is 0.21 percent of the GDP whereas Bangladesh had allocated 3.50 percent, Bhutan 16.6 percent, India 3.74 percent and Maldives 2.80 percent. Therefore we urge the government to allocate more for the stimulus package,” he said reading out a statement issued by his party in this regard.
He said his party would propose that government should support normal functioning of money markets and short-term finance , encourage private credit creation, long term direct lending to businesses, households, state/ local/ regional governments and forbearance, government support to revenues generation, redirecting or reallocating previously budgeted spending, allowing the Central Bank to finance government operations, go for effective international assistance and take other necessary economic and non-economic measures to revive the economy.
We will not play politics at this time even though our party members force us to be more active when it comes to politics. We don’t want to jeopardize the government at this point