Prez blames uncritical citizens for country’s lack of econ. progress
5 months ago
BY Buddhika Samaraweera President Ranil Wickremesinghe, claiming that the country’s progress has been hampered from time to time due to short-sighted economic practices, said that many such setbacks occurred in the name of the citizens, who accepted such policies without any criticism. While presenting the interim Budget 2022 in Parliament yesterday (30), he said that although it is a widespread slogan these days that the country has deteriorated for 74 years after Independence, those who engage in chanting these slogans earlier said that it was the colonial rulers who destroyed the country. He further said that those who engage in slogan-led politics put forward slogans at different points in time for their own benefit. The President further said: “Engaging in rhetoric and politicised economic policies for their own benefit rather than the country are the main reasons for the collapse of our economy. Due to these short-sighted economic practices, the country’s progress has been hampered from time to time. Many of those setbacks occurred in the name of the citizens who also accepted those policies without any criticism.” He said that from the time, the Government nationalised businesses, while most of the tax revenue of the country has been spent to cover their losses, adding that the funds that have to be utilised for the necessities of the community are being wasted on keeping such companies afloat. He said that the Government should formulate policies and implement them, but that the Government does everything at present, and the people also expect such. “We have not been following appropriate policies, not only in relation to State enterprises, but also in attracting foreign investments. Continuously, there has been no proper use of the nation’s resources, that too under the guise of seeking to protect State assets. In order to solve this economic crisis, one of the basic tasks that we need is to extricate ourselves from our traditional political perspectives, and impartially appraise the reality of the ground situation in the context of the global environment,” added the President. Meanwhile, when questioned by the media as to whether he would not take responsibility for the prevailing economic crisis, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said in June 2022, that the economic crisis was still there when he came in. In a way, he said that all, including the media and the people who gave them power, have to be held accountable for the crisis. Stating that some say that they pass the ball to the people, Rajapaksa said that those who gave them the ball must also be held responsible.