Champika Criticizes “Statistical Gimmicks” Of The Government

Criticizing the present economic policy of the government, Technology And Research Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday said that an innovation-driven knowledge economy is more suitable for Sri Lanka than a recreation-based ‘rainbow economy’.

He made these remarks addressing a conference which was held at the National Science Foundation. Ranawaka is known to be a critic of the strategic development act which was presented to the parliament by the ruling party a few months ago.

The Minister stated that Sri Lanka should look into the obstacles that prevent the country from stepping into a knowledge based economy. He also added that the amount of money Sri Lanka allocated for research sector was extremely low when compared to other sectors of the economy.

The total allocation for the technology and research sectors last year formed only 0.035% of the country’s GDP.

Raising doubts over the economic statistics provided by the government the Minister said it was important to analyze such statistics from a realistic point of view. He also added that the country’s economy should not be restricted to ‘statistical gimmicks’.

Commenting on the service economy which the government is planning to develop, the Minister added that it was just a bubble that would never lay a sustainable foundation for economic development. He asserted that an economy of that nature was highly vulnerable and could collapse at any moment.

Addressing the conference the Minister said Sri Lanka should now focus on an economic policy that creates opportunities for the production sector.

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