Every budget since Independence has pledged to assist the private sector, but to date that has not happened, said Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Special Assignments.
Speaking at the inauguration of the certified professional managers (CPM) regional management conference held at BMICH recently, he said that there is a small paragraph in every budget, sometimes in small type, saying that ‘we consider the private sector to be the motor of growth’.
“But if you look at the financial allocations, if you look at the policy prescriptions, that pledge is hardly carried over to real life.”
Commenting on the SAARC region, the Minister said that all member countries are bound together by the SAARC Charter and advances in one country are always an advance for other member countries. “SAARC is one of the largest gatherings population-wise and represents more than one quarter of the world’s population.”
“We are a region which is nuclear combat ready. So it is very important that we work together, particularly to make sure that all of us come out of the poverty trap. Though we are large in numbers, almost all our countries are on a growth path. Bangladesh, today, is a good example of economic growth for many of us in the region.”
He said that it is fair to say that in South Asia we all choose to be poor. “If we look at our countries, our history and our decision making, we refrain from taking those decisions which can help our countries to be much better, to be richer.”
“We have not taken those decisions that were necessary particularly in the area of administration and as a result we are today what we are. We have to admit that we can do much better. We can be much more responsive to the poorer people of our societies and, to some extent, we can say that several generations of leaders have let down large numbers of poor people in our countries.
“The SAARC is not we managing their resources properly. Are the people of our countries getting a return that they have every right to expect from their natural resources, their human resources and from new technology? I think all of us will have to look into this matter and I feel that much more can be done.”
“We are not taking the correct decisions to transform our economy. Now if you look at our neighbour India and another billion population country, China, one would have thought that they would have never transformed themselves. So that is why I say we are deliberately choosing to be poor - because we are not addressing the proper issues.”
Sources : dailynews