(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –New Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Economic Affairs, Policy Development, Buddha Sasana, Cultural, Water Supply & Urban Development, and Housing Facilities Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said under the previous regime, Sri Lanka’s economy was weakened and investors and the people completely loss their confident in the government. “We have to correct this soon.”
He said that even during the war with LTTE the economy grew at around 6% and today Sri Lankan economic growth rate is among the lowest almost in par with Afghanistan.
“There was a steady increase in foreign reserves from 2,735 million dollars in 2005 to a record 8,208 million dollars by the end of 2014. However this positive trend was reversed due to short sighted economic policies of the previous government.”
The interest rate along with Inflation doubled from 6%, while foreign reserves dipped and the tourism sector was also badly affected due to the Easter Sunday attack. The US Dollar was Rs. 131.05 when the year ended in 2014. It had been held steady at Rs. 127-131 from 2011 to 2014.
“When I handed over power to the new Government, the economy was on a very sound footing and the country as a whole was a single worksite,” said the Premier.
The total foreign debt component of the Government was 39 percent in 2005 and this was reduced every year till it reached 31.8 percent in 2014. Interest rates were held steady at around 7 to 9 percent from 2010 to 2014. When I handed over power to a new Government, the economy was on a very sound footing and the country as a whole was a single worksite,” the Premier said.
He said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa made some election promises and they will ensure that these would be fulfilled before the end of his term.