Sri Lanka recent policy has crippled domestic industry: opposition

Nov 09, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s current economic framework has crippled domestic industry and protectionist taxes announced in the 2009 budget are contradictory and are aimed simply at raising revenue, the island’s main opposition has charged. The Mahinda Chinthana economic framework while paying lip service to domestic industry, is undermining its competitive strengths, opposition United National Party lawmaker Kabir Hashim told reporters.

“Though the administration claims to be for domestic industry its policies over the past four years has systematically made local industries uncompetitive by pushing up inflation much higher than competitors,” Hashim said.

“Our inflation is even higher than Pakistan.”

In April 2008 Sri Lanka’s inflation hit 29.9 percent, and the country is now in the middle of a balance of payments crisis.

Pakistan also hit a balance of payments crisis due to currency intervention and is now seeking International Monetary Fund help after inflation hit 20 percent and the country lost foreign reserves.

Most other Asian countries have recorded inflation of under ten and five percent.

Sri Lanka’s exporters have been complaining that high domestic inflation brought on by central bank money