Harsha unveils plan to get SL out of crisis
Leading opposition SJB MP Dr Harsha de Silva gestures with a copy of his plan to resolve the economic crisis during yesterday’s press conference – Photo by Lasantha Kumara
- Presents a common 10-point minimum plan for the economy; deplores the government’s lack of action.
- The opposition says it supports the process through parliamentary committees
- Warns that delays impact trust and recovery
By Darshana Abayasingha
In the absence of a specific roadmap for economic recovery and development from the government, the opposition has taken “a bold step” to provide the government with its own plan titled “Getting Out of the Debt Trap and towards sustainable inclusive development,” said MP SJB. Dr. Harsha De Silva yesterday.
The document presented to parliament by De Silva on Friday consisted of a 10-point joint minimum program for Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.
Speaking to the media, De Silva said it has been months since Wickremesinghe became prime minister and now president, and while the main opposition agrees with his general plan for Sri Lanka’s economic recovery, no details are forthcoming. was later clarified. The SJB MP expressed concern over the delay, noting that Sri Lanka had no time to waste and people were losing faith that there was no plan.
De Silva noted that this common minimum economic stimulus package was endorsed by almost all opposition parties when the SJB backed Dullas Alahapperuma’s candidacy for the presidency.
De Silva has been named chairman of the parliamentary public finance committee (COPF), where he hopes to speak with all political parties to implement a common agenda.
He was pleased that, for the first time, an opposition MP had been appointed President of the COPF and added that he hoped to demonstrate by his efforts that an MP could contribute effectively to the elaboration and policy action without accepting any ministerial portfolio.
He remarked that the master plan encompasses two aspects which include his own economic proposals which were endorsed by the other two members of the SJB economic committee, MPs Kabir Hashim and Eran Wickramaratne, plus the suggestions shared by Professor Rohan Samarajiva under the leadership of Chairman of the National Social Justice Movement and former President Karu Jayasuriya. De Silva said the NMSJ proposals include the views of various groups on their economic recovery proposals.
“This is a document full of ideas from multiple sources. This is a specific document containing proposals on 10 aspects: debt crisis management, monetary and exchange rate policy, revenue consolidation, expenditure control, public sector management, energy reform and public services, promotion of trade and industry, reform of the factor market, strengthening of social safety nets and Transparency.
“Each of these elements has been broken down in detail and is detailed as to what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. We hope that this will become the basic document for discussions between parliamentarians and also outside. The government can take it and change it, including others, and we can all hopefully be on the same page and come to an agreement to implement it,” De Silva said.
He also called on the government, opposition parties, international partners, as well as all other relevant stakeholders to use the plan to start the conversation on how best to get Sri Lanka out of this socio-economic crisis.
With official government inflation at 60% and food inflation at 80%, the Sri Lankan public has become significantly impoverished, and with no solutions in sight, it has become imperative to make these views known, he said. he declares.
The SJB MP also noted that with his party, he made several representations to the government and the then President on the economy, and if they had listened, Sri Lanka would not be bankrupt today. today. He added that Sri Lanka has little time to waste restructuring its debt and embarking on a program with the IMF, as tensions between India and China could worsen the program.
“The president is trying to form a multi-party government and that’s good. But what is the plan, and for how long and who will come? Most political parties have rejected this call. If some MPs join as individuals, c “It’s fine, but it’s their personal goals and programs. But it’s not a multi-party government. In this context, we decided to support the goals of the people in parliament through the committees.”
De Silva pointed out that the current government does not have a mandate from the people and expressed hope that the public would have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in general elections after the New Year in March and to form a government acceptable to the public and its stakeholders. Sri Lanka must tear down the walls it has built around itself due to short-sighted policies and focus on building bridges with the rest of the world, he said.