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Social market economy need of the hour for Sri Lanka: President

6 August 2022 01:06 am - 25     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Indicates the need to ensure no segment is left behind in ongoing economic reconstruction efforts
  • Says just as much as there is a need to make higher profits, more money must be available for the people
  • Asserts highly competitive economy cannot run on low wages
  • Assures SL will not go back to ‘old’ systems
  • Stresses the need for change and increase in income 
  • Says without prioritising economy nothing can be achieved

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Sri Lanka as a nation must step up efforts in establishing a social market economy, so that going forward the people can move forward with the assurance of sustainable growth and development, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.


 Wickremesinghe, speaking at a conference yesterday that was aimed at reforming Sri Lanka’s current economic status, indicated that more must be done to bridge the inequality prevailing in the country and ensure all sections of the people across the​​ island grow and reap the benefits of development and prosperity.


 “Just as much as we must make money and make bigger profits, there must be more money available to the people. The housing needs must be met in the next 15 to 20 years. 


“Poverty should no longer be existent the rural areas of Sri Lanka, and for that matter the urban areas. We are a small country, we can go ahead,” said Wickremesinghe at the ‘Reform Now’ conference hosted by Colombo-based think-tank Advocata Institute.


While the higher end of the business community and the economy have repeatedly harped on the need for higher productivity and efficiency, the President pointed out that a highly competitive economy cannot run on low wages. 
Low wages and salaries have been the case for Sri Lanka in recent years, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. Employers, and businesses, even those that made higher profits resorted to trimming payroll expenditure to reduce operational costs in the name of sustaining operations. 


The outcome of such moves, which are still in place, has made it increasingly difficult for the bulk of those in the workforce to carry on with their day-to-day expenses. This has been further worsened by the escalating cost of living.


“A highly competitive economy runs on high wages and high productivity. Both are necessary. Without those we cannot go ahead,” asserted the President.


Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe went on to state that the pain felt by the people at present will not go away overnight, and is likely to stay for the whole of next year as well.


He attributed the increasing challenges to the global situation being unfavourable to “anyone” next year.
 “2024 will be better. But we have to get through all this. We have to find niche markets. We have to find people. So, are you ready to take up the challenge? Are you ready to influence other people to take up the challenge?” said the President while questioning the audience on their commitment to bring about the changes the nation has been demanding for.


He went on to state that there is no going back to the old system and the suffering of the most vulnerable must not be for in vain, for which coordinated efforts are required to improve the lives of the people.

 “There have ​​to ​be​ change​s​. There has to be a ​​rise in income. Workers have to be looked after. Education facilities have to be made available. For this we are going to a newer system,” stressed Wickremesinghe.


The President further stated that while efforts are underway to reconstruct the future, the priority should be the economy.


“The first item of the agenda should be the economy. It may also be the second item on the agenda. Without doing the economy, we cannot do anything else,” he pointed out.

 


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  Comments - 25

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  • Roshan samarathunga Saturday, 06 August 2022 02:31 AM

    Well indeed he is very tough unelected leader who knows all aspects of life including master debating and immorality

    Punchi Saturday, 06 August 2022 03:18 AM

    Unless there is universal political equality, universal human rights, universal empowerment, all religions are given equal status, proper and transparent budget expenditure etc there can be no meaningful economic development. The great scam that has now failed, if continued will lead to us being perpetually the poor trash of Asia

    Janakan Palankotam Saturday, 06 August 2022 03:29 AM

    For that we need a properly elected parliament with good/honest people (without kappam, bribes, drug dealers etc) and a proper president!!

    Democrat Saturday, 06 August 2022 03:40 AM

    Right from the beginning you have made mistakes having known that you have no mandate from the people of this country to govern them. You shouldn’t have sent forces to gota gogama . You should not have arrested those who went to the presidential house. If you didn’t do that people may have seen you in a different perspective.Boy you missed that chance.

    Jude Saturday, 06 August 2022 05:05 AM

    SRI LANKA could be developed only through agriculture and AGRI-BASED INDUSTRIES!! HALF Lankan working population Must indulge in agriculture!! Period!! Look no further, Vietnam, Thailand top five Rice producers in the world!! And Vietnam biggest garments producers in Asia after India and China!!

    Lumbini Saturday, 06 August 2022 05:46 AM

    To achieve this, are you trying to arrest union leaders and progressive youths of this country?

    Citizen Saturday, 06 August 2022 05:57 AM

    You going home is the need for everybody

    Abeygunaratna Saturday, 06 August 2022 06:28 AM

    Very good thinking Sir, please find ways to implement and make it a reality.

    Dumb President Saturday, 06 August 2022 06:56 AM

    Enough talking, now walk it!

    Nuwan Saturday, 06 August 2022 07:15 AM

    low productivity and low wages are typical for 1.5 million public servants. Get them out to workforce. High wages and high productivity (log hours and hard work). That will attract new investments. Parliament to vote to cease all collective agreements. CPC 25% annual pay rise is not sustainable.

    Cherath Saturday, 06 August 2022 09:28 AM

    Every assistance needed to expand home grown agricultural products, like for turmeric targeting self sufficiency. Foreign investment to be encouraged where at least 50% of raw materials are available locally. Printing money suspended for a minimum 5 years. But then are you interested? 'Cos..... you are there as a stop gap measure, so new ideas are no use.

    Lion Saturday, 06 August 2022 09:29 AM

    What economic strategies with a man who brought Arjun M to run the central bank few years ago

    Jef Saturday, 06 August 2022 09:58 AM

    To stimulate the economy we need productivity identify the sectors that can make positive growth for long term benifits employment and financial along genuine investors to invest in the country To Rebuild the economy trust and the Reputation of the country we need very strong back up by WB IMF and Our foriegn counterparts with Reforms with proper Law and order based guarantees foriegn investments to devolop the nation .new road map must be introduced for speedy recovery for prosperity

    Kamal Jothywansa Saturday, 06 August 2022 10:03 AM

    Enough is enough we have heard lot of stories from you now do it or die, never be too late to solve the problems the public facing.

    Observer Saturday, 06 August 2022 11:22 AM

    No talk about the ETERNALLY LOSSMAKING ENTERPRISES owned by the State which are run out of Tax Payers' money.

    Patriot Saturday, 06 August 2022 11:22 AM

    Where all the USD Dollars borrowed since past 20 years have gone which is about USD60Billion plus domestic debt? In spite of receiving hundred of billions of dollars from exports, expatriate remittances, FDI, plus USD borrowings etc , Sri Lanka is bankrupt today. Why? Where all the money has gone ?

    sam Saturday, 06 August 2022 12:17 PM

    Take action to recover the looted money back

    Ranjith Saturday, 06 August 2022 12:31 PM

    We can listen to only if you were elected you have no mandate how can you develop the country while protecting Rajapakses and thief's the solution is early elections in April 2023.

    Ranjith Saturday, 06 August 2022 12:31 PM

    We can listen to only if you were elected you have no mandate how can you develop the country while protecting Rajapakses and thief's the solution is early elections in April 2023.

    New Broomstick Saturday, 06 August 2022 12:36 PM

    Sir How about another Bond Issue involving Ravi Mahendran, and UNO stalwarts. The country need Dollars at any cost. Go ahead another good time in disguise.

    Vadivelu Yogaratnam Saturday, 06 August 2022 01:05 PM

    This man just jabbering, nothing can be developed without IMF fund sort out that first.

    hiwala Saturday, 06 August 2022 01:30 PM

    Panama Papers: Rajapakska family and elite are plundering the county. A new report based on the Panama Papers reveals how Rajapaksa family and other politicians in the junta and business leaders are systematically siphoning off billions of dollars and parking the money offshore. Why not research these thoroughly. We have the right to demand for that..

    Nadi Karunaratne Saturday, 06 August 2022 01:48 PM

    The need of the hour is that you stop locking up democratic protestors and that you step down as no one wants you. Then let's start locking up the real thugs and plunders who have destroyed our nation.

    firdhous Saturday, 06 August 2022 02:08 PM

    We need intelligent approach in applying law and regulation. For example the Undi money transection is banned but if raw materials such as fabrics brought into the country using Undi system and the same material is used for making garments for export, Sri Lanka will have high rate of foreign currency income. The same is applicable for luxury vehicle or sport equipment brought by someone from a foreign country and which is used transporting tourists or in tourism industry. When dollar currency brought into the country, the same happens. But everyone thing of his own benefit but not the benefit of the country as whole.

    Premalal Perera Saturday, 06 August 2022 02:34 PM

    Firstly we need a President who has the confidence of the people. So we need an elected President rather than a selected President. Especially when the selection is done by 134 corrupt individuals whose sole objective is to escape justice. Moreover, the present executive President has been involved in corrupt practice himself. Then we need an honest judiciary and a fair judiciary.


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