Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said a new government will introduce laws making it mandatory to present agreements with regard to state properties in parliament before signing them.
Speaking at a forum of professionals in Colombo, Mr. Rajapaksa said the members of the previous Yahapalana Government has signed contracts to handover the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port to India since it already leased out the Hambantota Port to China.
“Had the Yahapalana Government remained in power for another term, nothing would have been left in the country. Therefore, we will introduce laws making it mandatory to submit agreements with regard to state properties in parliament before signing them. However, today, we have been forced to go ahead with whatever we are left within the country including the destruction the previous government has made," he said.
He said the foreign exchange revenue earned from expatriate workers and the income from the garment industry continued to be the two main source of income for the country. He said the country cannot further depend on these two sources.
“We made plans to set the course of the country's economy on a new path and to create novel ways of generating income. That's why we created the Hambantota Port, the Port City and the Mattala Airport. We made highways connecting all these to make the country an international trade centre," he said.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, Prime Minister Rajapaksa said the economy of not only Sri Lanka but also the entire world has imploded.
“This is the challenge we face in the short term. Due to the fluctuations in the world economy, we are yet again at a juncture where the existence of the country depends on the ability of the leaders. Had Gotabaya Rajapaksa not been elected President, the country would have become a 'Vishala Mahanuwara.' I hope all Sri Lankans will use their voting right to strengthen the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Government," Prime Minister Rajapaksa said.(Lahiru Pothmulla)