Tuesday, 11 August 2020 08:46

Govt.’s strong mandate for accelerated economic revival: CCC

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) yesterday congratulated the new Government and said it stood ready to engage on key reforms and policies needed to strengthen management of fiscal deficits, reform State enterprises, establish an efficient public service and improve governance.

Releasing a statement, the CCC said it congratulated Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the newly-elected Government on its victory at the 2020 General Election and the clear majority mandate received from the voting citizenry.

The chamber said it believed that the mandate received reflected among other factors the confidence earned by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Government through the exemplary outcomes delivered with respect to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic cumulating to the protection of life and livelihoods.

Equally, the Chamber said it was of the view that the mandate also represented aggressive expectations with respect to accelerated and inclusive economic revival and national development in the post-COVID-19 context.

“The chamber is optimistic that the Government will lever its mandate to exercise exceptional, bold and innovative measures which will accelerate economic revival. The multi-faceted challenge ahead will also call upon the Government to double down on the fundamental tenets of domestic production, narrowing of the trade deficit, and the strengthening of fiscal and monetary disciplines, alongside a progressive approach to global market access. It also remains fundamental that a second wave of COVID-19 is prevented at all costs.”

The chamber said it welcomed the decision of President Rajapaksa to limit the size of the cabinet of ministers, thereby signalling a headline commitment towards driving productivity and performance in the public sector, as well as the management of fiscal deficits.

“In the backdrop of this directional signal, the chamber is optimistic of the commitment of Government focus towards the recalibration of public sector expenditure, the empowerment and upskilling of the civil service, a concerted effort towards State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) reform and spawning of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as modalities of capital mobilisation.”

The statement added that the chamber was looking forward to the establishment of a fresh paradigm with respect to governance, policy formulation and implementation management, featuring the streamlining of ministries with clear and synergised assignment of subjects, alongside the delineation of policy, regulatory, public enterprise and performance management functions. The chamber further recommended that the optimised configuration of ministries be enshrined in legislation in order to ensure continuity in government policy and implementation.

“Accelerated economic revival will be predicated on the effective execution of a public-private shared vision for economic revival and social sustenance. The chamber accordingly seeks from the Government a progressive dialogue inclusive of the timely consultation of business chambers with respect to policy formulation and legislation, so as to ensure Sri Lanka’s large, medium and small scale enterprise sectors garner superior competitiveness thereby forming a cornerstone of the nation’s economic revival. The strengthening of growth enablers encompassing digitisation, health, education, food security and energy sufficiency should also remain as shared priorities of the private and public sectors.”

The Ceylon Chamber assured its support in its capacity as the premier representative of the private sector to ongoing engagement with the Government with respect to the national agenda of driving accelerated economic revival alongside the delivery of inclusive benefits to all segments of citizens and businesses.


(FT)

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