Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who recently unveiled in Parliament a blueprint for what he called third-generation economic reforms, has assured his country that the proposed reforms will promote the “benefits of development among all” and “pave the way for sustainable development”.
Mr. Wickremesinghe, who also holds the portfolio of national policy and economic affairs, said the present government had planned to pay attention to five issues: generation of one million job opportunities, enhancing income levels of people, development of rural economy, ensuring land ownership to a cross-section of people, and creation of a “wide and strong” middle class.
Giving an account of the global economic scenario, Mr, Wickremesinghe said there would not be a “favourable” climate, given the reports of the United States Federal Reserve’s plan to increase interest rates and the Chinese economy going through a phase of uncertainty.
Alluding to the previous year’s provisional figure of budget deficit of six per cent of the GDP, he said the plan was to reduce it to 3.5 per cent by 2020 and this would be done through merging all sources of finance.
Land ownership would be offered to different categories of people. In respect of estates’ workers, which also covered persons of Indian origin who had been living in “line rooms” for over 10 years, the government would provide small pieces of land and houses. The Prime Minister’s observation followed the government’s move in April to assign land to each plantation family. (The Hindu)