Expectations of economic management not being met: Razeen Sally

Aug 02, 2016 (LBO) – After 18 months of Sri Lanka’s new administration, expectations that proper economic management would be in place are going unmet, Prof Razeen Sally said.

He was speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016 organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

“My sense is that those expectations have not been met. The excesses of the Rajapakse regime have not been corrected,” Sally, a National University of Singapore professor, said.

“There has been the supreme idiocy of price controls,” Sally added, where inconsistent policies, ad hoc measures and public sector expenditure increases were compounding problems.

Fiscal consolidation and consistent policies have been a challenge for Sri Lanka in recent years, with fiscal volatility being reflected in inconsistent and ad hoc policies.

Monetary policy too has been loose, although corrective steps were taken last week, he said.

In terms of his recommendations, he said the first step would be to “essentially do no harm.” There shouldn’t be further ad hoc measures and public sector expenditure increases,” he said.

“We need better appointments for key positions. We need new blood, and we need a message of practical economic reform.”