Thursday, 18 April 2019 05:42

Finance Minister says Sri Lanka has taken measures towards sustainable development

Sri Lanka has taken several measures to tackle number of ongoing challenges in sustainable and equitable development. The 2019 national budget includes a number of interventions towards this end.

This was stated by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera when he addressed2019 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development General Debate at United Nations in New York today Wednesday 17.

Several initiatives have been introduced to further the participation of women in the economy.

These include the government sharing the costs of maternity benefits, public and private investments in child care facilities, and legislative amendments to improve flexibility of working hours.

The government is introducing curricular reforms in secondary education to enhance creative and analytical skills, and technological interventions such as smart classrooms.

Investments in school facilities are being ramped up including sanitation which has important implications for continuous education, particularly for the girl child.

In addressing poverty and vulnerability – measures are being taken to encourage employment of people with disabilities through targeted wage subsidies for companies that hire such individuals.

Objective and transparent selection criteria have been introduced for welfare transfers to the poor, the elderly, and those vulnerable to natural disasters.

Natural disasters are an increasingly frequent and damaging occurrence in our island nation. Sri Lanka has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries in the face of climate change.

A substantial contingency fund has been set aside in the 2019 budget to mitigate impacts of climate change and associated natural disasters, he said.

Financial commitments are increasingly challenging for countries like Sri Lanka. International cooperation therefore is vital including for supporting measures to prevent and mitigate the debilitating impacts of climate change in vulnerable economies.

The minister urged for greater public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives globally, to ensure that no one is left behind.



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