Question No.1 out of 5
If elected what would be your priority for the economy?
Stamping out large scale corruption which will immediately increase Sri Lanka’s growth rate by 2 percentage points. Therefore my immediate priority will be to eliminate the cancer of corruption in economic management and redirect the resulting savings into urgent people-friendly development via both the public and private sectors. Unshackling market forces in a corrupt free people and investor friendly economy with the right amount of regulation will unleash Sri Lanka’s potential and boost economic growth and distribution of wealth leading to a better life for all Sri Lankans; not just for a select few.
Without a doubt the resources required to fight the war kept us from reaching our development potential. Ending the war however provided the golden opportunity for the government to release resources for development. But unfortunately these resources are now being amassed by a clan and a few sycophants hovering around the clan, leaving the masses to boil in the pan. The endemic corruption is continuing unabated
According to the Sri Lanka Economic Association President Professor A D V de S Indraratna, a respected economist and advisor to the Government, if not for corruption, “Sri Lanka’s growth rate would be raised by a further 2 percentage points without any further increase in the present rate of gross investment or productivity.” Applying this number to the latest available Central Bank figures, the loss of our country’s GDP for 2008 alone, is approximately Rs 300 billion. This is almost twice the current expenditure on defence or 30 times more than current expenditure for the Ministry of Higher Education for that year. Cumulatively, from 2005 to 2009, it has been estimated elsewhere, that corruption has denied the people a total sum of a staggering Rs 810 billion, a loss much bigger than the annual government revenue. Even though we won the LTTE war we are losing the economic war.
President Sarath Fonseka will prosecute the economic war the same way General Sarath Fonseka prosecuted the LTTE war by formulating winning strategies and appointing professionals and not political stooges.
As one of my first duties as President I will take steps to completely and once and for all eliminate the politicization of economic management that opens the doors for the massive corruption, nepotism, wastage and ego-boosting extravagance we see today. I will immediately legislate anti-corruption measures using emergency law. Within days I will reactivate and give teeth to the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption and fast track legal action to severely punish those found guilty of bribery and corruption. Proceeds of corruption will be taken away.