The government has stabilised the economy and managed the country’s debt burden systematically, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
“Our objective is to limit the debt burden to 70 percent of the country’s budget by 2020. We have already increased the country’s income by 10 percent,” The Prime Minister said addressing a meeting after opening the Greater Kurunegala Water Supply and Sanitation project in Kurunegala on Monday.
The project was completed by the NWSDB under the supervision of the Town Planning and Water Supply Ministry.
The Prime Minister said the government while doing all this work had to bear the brunt of people’s flak. Despite all such criticism the government decreased the country’s debt burden. Since there is a shortage of foreign exchange in the country, the government had been forced to resolve it by going in for foreign loans.
The country could not move forward until a solution was found for this problem, he said. Although people had income avenues, the government had to improve such income sources.
While increasing resources youth should be found employment. To accomplish these tasks, the government took action to create a new economy after 2015. Steps have been taken to improve industrial factories, set up new factories, develop tourism by increasing the number of in-bound tourists and deploy new technology to develop the service and industrial sectors.
The Prime Minister said steps have also been taken to improve and develop the fisheries industry too.”The past three years had been a difficult period. But since the economy had been stabilised now, the country could move forward with promise,” he said.
The Prime Minister said a new road network from Kandy to Hambantota will be built to suit the country’s new economy. Work on the Colombo - Matara expressway had how begun and work on the Colombo - Kandy expressway too had also been started. The government had introduced the ‘Megapolis Development Plan’ to modernise the Colombo city.
Although discussions were held in 2003, 2005 and 2013 about the Colombo-Kandy expressway, work was not started due to lack of funds. But the government had now begun work on this project after coming to power in 2015. The Prime Minister said the Colombo-Kandy expressway will pass through the Wayamba Province and will bring in massive development and economic benefits not only to Kandy but also to Kurunegala.
In the same way the UNP government of 1977 brought economic development hitherto restricted to Colombo into Biyagama, the present government led by President Maithripala Sirisena will bring development to other parts of the country including Chilaw, Kurunegala and Kandy.
As a first step, a Tourism Zone would be set up at Iranawila and two industrial zones would be launched in Mawathagama and Bingiriya. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said during the last election campaign he promised to set up two national schools in Kurunegala.
"Already work was underway to set up one such school in Kurunegala and the other school would be set up in Wariyapola. “As much as we worked with great effort to win the war without allowing a division of the country let us join hands and wok with confidence to make Sri Lanka a strong economy in Asia,” the Prime Minister said.