Hats off to Prime Minster Mahinda Rajapaksa for at last realising that hard truth that “we would have been better off economically, had the country adopted a policy of focusing on producing import alternatives – rather than depending on other countries”.
At last one politician at least has realised the pathetic truth about our lopsided economy, that what is ailing our country is a huge production gap, with a high demand on one side and insufficient goods on the other side. Politicians of all governments have been adopting policies to please and appease the masses, often losing the crux of our economic problem of ‘too much money chasing too few goods’.
India has forged ahead by applying the Ghandian philosophy to economics, that what is produced in India is not inferior to imported goods. In that way, everything is produced in India locally and a huge demand is a stimulus to production there. The business ventures by the Yahapalana government did not take off because of public protest. E.g. Free trade zone at Hambantota. I remember reading in the press that whenever foreign ventures wanted to kick start a venture in the country, the Cabinet minister of whatever government in power, demanded a bribe and that was the end of the business venture. I only hope that this is not true and now that our Prime Minister himself has realised this hard fact of import dependence, our country would be able to stand on its own feet.
To be able to stand on our own feet, technology has to be imported with foreign collaboration. If you disagree, our national exports, tea and rubber, should be developed with foreign collaboration. So why can’t we at this late stage?
(Isaac T. Kulendran can be reached via