By Yohan Perera
The statement made on Monday by former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the status of Sri Lanka’s economy is correct, former minister and Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) candidate Harsha de Silva said yesterday. “I agree with what Mr Wickremesinghe said. One cannot deny facts,” Dr. de Silva said responding to a question asked by journalists at a news conference yesterday.
“Rating agencies have said Sri Lanka is a country which is risky when it comes to the settlement of debts. This is what Mr Wickremesinghe pointed out on Monday,” he said.“Sri Lanka’s economic growth jumped to around 9% just after the war because the country focused on infrastructure development while the North and the East became a part of the national economy. In addition agriculture in the East was developed. However, the economic growth slowed down to little more than 3% by 2013.”
On a different note Dr. De Silva said the government must allow the small rice mill owners to become a part of the rice market to make it competitive and prices will decline.
“Under our government we introduced the Shakthi cooperatives programme through which we managed to break the monopoly of large rice mill owners. We managed to control the price. However the present government is out to abolish the cooperative movement. Two ministers have wanted the movement abolished,” he said.