The goal of the government is to build a strong knowledge-based market economy instead of popular economic policies targeting short-term returns, Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera says. "This target will be achieved in 2025," Minister Samaraweera said addressing a seminar in Colombo yesterday.
The seminar under the theme 'Economic Development Plan of Sri Lanka in 2025', was organized by the Sri Jayewardenepura University Postgraduate and Management Institute.The government has prepared a number of plans in 2025 for economic progress in Sri Lanka and businessmen, economists and development officials were briefed at the seminar on how these plans will be implemented.
Delivering the keynote address, Minister Mangala Samaraweera pointed out that development goals cannot be achieved by the development of only the ports, highways and power stations. He said building ports may increase GDP, but not development.
"If a port is built, which does not generate economic activity or an airport that does not attract any commercial flights, it may increase the GDP but that cannot be considered development," he said.As a multiethnic country establishment of the freedom and democracy of the people is of paramount importance, the Minister said.
"The government needs to undertake more difficult and challenging reforms in order to drive future economic growth and development, he added.Speaking on the country's debt burden, Minister Samaraweera said this year records the highest debt repayment since independence."This year we have spent Rs. 1.9 trillion to repay the debt and 82 percent of it was spent on settling the debt taken before the year 2015."
The Minister of Finance said that Rs. 4 trillion should be paid for loans within the next two years.By 2025, the government expects to achieve economic growth through the promotion of exports and entrepreneurship as well as the cooperation of the private sector. It will also implement a robust insurance system for low income families.The government also expects to increase the allocation for the development in the education sector to 5 percent of the GDP by 2025. The government has succeeded in achieving the desired economic stability for that in the past three years, the Minister said.Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy also participated in the seminar.