Sri Lanka needs to shake off its welfare state mentality: World Bank

June 26, 2006 (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s economic programmes must be protected from the political uncertainties of delicate coalitions and resolve the ethnic conflict, if it needs to make headway to tackle widespread poverty, the World Bank said Monday. “The more endemic problem is the attitude of entitlements associated with the popular perceptions that Sri Lanka is a ‘welfare state’….The real challenge is to address this expectation and restructure public finances to give greater priority to market led growth and job creation while continuing to provide cost-effective social services to the deserving,” the authors noted.


The island also needs to liberalise key economic sectors and
snap out of its ‘welfare state mentality,’ the Washington based bank said in its


Economic Growth in South Asia
report.

“In Sri Lanka, the biggest challenge is the ethnic conflict. That conflict has been raging now for over 20 years, and increased in recent weeks. And estimates of that conflict are