Mr. Eran Wickramaratne, Samagi Jana Balavegaya M.P. who expressed confidence that the country’s economic crisis could be resolved with the help of the International Monetary Fund, said that if the country is to see real progress, it should think about an all-inclusive work plan that goes beyond economic and financial gains.
Many people question what the solution for the economic crises are. There are short-term, medium-term, and long-term solutions for that. No matter who is in power or who is in the opposition, it is important to build the country’s economy. Mr. Wickramaratne expressed confidence with IMF intervention, opportunities will arise to prepare an economic and financial program for the country.
He said this while participating as the chief guest in the annual general meeting of the Sri Lanka Jamaat – e – Islami organization located in Colombo 09. It is an honor to have the opportunity to address the annual meeting of the 67-year-old Sri Lanka Jamaat-e-Islam organization. For the good of society, the work that your organization is doing to strengthen the social welfare and empower the poor people is something that a government should do.
Mr. Wickramaratne addressed the meeting on Saturday further said:
Whether people like it or not with the finalization of arrangements with IMF, taxes have to go up, expenditures have to come down wastage, corruption have to be eliminated, defense expenditures have to come down, we have to spend more on education and health. Sri Lanka should have a foreign policy on which all parties agree on and that, then it is our defence. Our defense, primarily is our foreign policy, we must have an independent foreign policy to have friendship with everybody, This should be the Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and not of any political party. When Mrs Bandaranaike enunciated the non- aligned foreign policy, it didn’t become the policy of Sri Lanka freedom party but of democratic Sri Lanka. The government has already on negotiations with I. M. F. and I pray that those discussions will be fruitful.
The advantage of providing goods and services at subsidized prices is
more for the rich than for the poor.
He stated that when the government provides goods and services on the basis of concessions, it is the rich people who benefit more than the poor, so the introduction of the price formula was expected to collect more direct taxes from those who can afford taxes and identify those who are in need and introduce a direct social security system for them.
There were times when a liter of oil costing Rs 400 was given for Rs 200 due to political necessity, regardless of the international price. When a three-wheeler owner who gets 10 liters of fuel (Rs. 200 x10) he has a benefit of Rs. 2000 while a luxury car owner gets 80 liters reveived a benefit of Rs. 16,000. Mr. Eran Wickramaratne insisted that a system should be brought to provide direct relief to the low income earners of the society by taking the advantage that goes to the pockets of the rich.
He further said, life should not be limited to economic and financial gains only. Life should not also be confined to contentment of guiding one’s own children for better education and a chance to live in another country alone. Life is about families and societies and there is a deeper meaning in it.
The MP outlining his perceptions on the social set up briefed that the mentality among the societies that each consider themselves as different and we all are not the same. We think differently sometimes eat different foods and sometimes have different goals. That is the diversity we have. We must get ourselves out of the prejudice and the mentality of poverty. We have to remember we all have born equal.
Every body born equal. We need to get out of the mentality of being minority. We measure thing by race, religion and the cast. It is not so. The majority are the people of goodwill and those must get together irrespective of all the other differences . That is how we could build a better Sri Lanka. I am confident economic problems can be fixed. But we need to fix the bigger problem
Government’s primary responsibility is to provide opportunity. It doesn’t matter for a mother whether education is from Kores , Russia or China. What the mother needs is education for the child. Free education is misunderstood now, it is not the source of education that matters, it is quality education that matters
With regard to handling the economy efficiency he elaborated that the United National Party governments have a history of handling the economy effectively, and recalled that they reported surpluses in the primary balance of the budget in the years 1954, 1955, 1992, 2017 and 2018, and through this, the country could repay the the debt through its own revenue.
Surplus was achieved during the last good governance government period because the number of direct taxpayers increased from 900,000 to 1.5 million in one year increasing the tax revenue by 46 percent.
Building a really good country is the need of today’s age. As a person with a background in finance and economy, I would like to say that a good country cannot be built by economic development alone. Today, a mentality has been created in the country to give their children a good education and send them abroad to give them a good future. In this country we live in an era of misinterpretation of free education. It is not the sources of education that matters but the quality of education be it from the state or the private sector.
All the people born in the country should be treated as equals and we need to get rid of the mentality that we are the majority or minorities. We should have the mentality that a country belongs to everyone equally. Those who do good for the country with the good intentions can consider themselves as the great nation of the country.
Mr Wickramaratne said that he recently stated in Parliament that he did not choose to be born in this country. People are born not choosing their religion, race or country of birth. None of them are responsible for these things that they did not choose. It is tragic that some people who make racist speeches claim their rights as if they were born with intention in the country.
But as a nation, we are responsible for the things we choose and the decisions we make to society and the country. Everyone in the country should have this kind of understanding, emphasized
Disclaimer: Economic crisis could be overcome with IMF interventions -Eran Wickramaratne expresses the hope - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view