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Don't blame Trump; strengthen economy: MR

25 September 2018 11:57 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The government should take steps to strengthen the economy instead of blaming US President Donald Trump for the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said today.

He said in a statement that the role of a government was to keep abreast of worldwide developments instead of complaining that a foreign leader has strengthened his own economy and that our currency was collapsing on that account.

Mr. Rajapaksa said President Trump has strengthened the US economy through a policy of giving incentives to indigenous businesses and imposing tariffs on imports to encourage local production.

“My government also had a policy of producing whatever we could locally and reducing imports such as diary products, maize, soya, sugar, onion, potato, fruits, vegetables, poultry and certain industrial products. This government in contrast believes in limitless liberalization and free trade without a clear strategy to increase exports and reduce imports,” he said.

Mr. Rajapaksa said the government’s task is to manage crises and not to complain about them.

“If we have a government that requires foreign countries to underperform so as to enable us to maintain the value of our currency, then this country is in deep trouble,” he said and added that the present mismatch between the low price of crude oil and the high retail prices of fuel in Sri Lanka is due largely to the depreciation of the fupee and the government tax on fuel.

“The reason why the government is keeping the fuel pricing formula a closely guarded secret is because it will reveal to the public both the incompetence of the government as well as the taxes they are charging on fuel,” Mr.Rajapaksa said adding that the government has been trying to downplay the depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee by claiming that the Indian Rupee has depreciated even more.

“The Indian economy however is growing at nearly twice that of Sri Lanka and they are better able to weather the shocks. We are paying a heavy price for shifting from an emerging production economy under my government to a trading economy under UNP policies. What we are faced with now is slow growth below 4%, increasing inflation, increasing imports even of items that can easily be produced locally, huge repayments of short and medium term foreign commercial consumption loans taken by this government and a Rupee that is depreciating by the day, 

The emerging economic crisis is the outcome of the ill-conceived economic policies of this government and the lack of a home grown economic management strategy,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

  Comments - 9

  • Kalu Wednesday, 26 September 2018 01:10 AM

    Man,this is not the time for you to worry about the economy when your own head is at stake. Wear a helmet and avoid the Indians .

    Lankaboy Wednesday, 26 September 2018 10:14 AM

    if we can stop "duty free car" allowanceto all MP's and government officials, we can save billions of foreign currency reserves. This allowance is given already well of people who earning big amounts salary and bribes. It is not for ordinary people.

    Manel Wednesday, 26 September 2018 01:35 AM

    Economy was ruined by your govt. so badly by robbing that it will take some years for recovery.

    observer Wednesday, 26 September 2018 03:21 AM

    How could we strength the economy when our productivity is below average, over size cabinet giving all the luxuries to them, robbing the country whenever they can, exports are taxed, importing any thing and everything and the list goes.Probably SL will become tourist destination and we will suffer.

    Stunned Citizen Wednesday, 26 September 2018 04:09 AM

    Had you not blindly invested in white elephants by molly cuddling the Chinese loans, we wouldn’t have been in this predicament noh? Aney before I forget see if you can pump some of that commission money back to boost the economy

    Siri Wednesday, 26 September 2018 04:58 AM

    Real humbug, you ruined everything and left these people to hold the tub. Now you do big talk like a saint. Oh man telling so much lies through your white teeth. At least these guys are holding on, if you were still in power people would been starving that’s what the economy was getting bad you called election two ahead to win it before the economy got wosrt. Man you people are real curse for this good country. Enough all damages done just leave every one alone and mind yourself.

    Unchikun Wednesday, 26 September 2018 08:51 AM

    Easy said than done. The poor and disgusting mentality of our patriots.

    TONY Wednesday, 26 September 2018 08:53 AM


    Rasheed Wednesday, 26 September 2018 10:41 AM

    We should appreciate Mr. Gabraal for maintaining the Dollar rate at Rs. 135/- for 5 years.

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