Sri Lanka should cut ego boosting state expenses: legislator

Feb 21, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should cut ego boosting wasteful expenses and close down a loss-making state airline, instead of simply asking people to tighten their belts to battle a balance of payments crisis, a legislator has said. “We call upon the government to close down Mihin Lanka immediately,” Harsha de Silva, an economist and legislator representing Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party said.

“It has already lost 14 billion rupees. This is not counting losses in 2011. We call upon the government to close this airline which is eating up people’s money.”

Mihin Air, set up over three years ago has become a symbol of state excesses.

It was started despite state-run SriLankan Airlines, a full-service carrier being partially privatized and given to Emirates to manage after running a string of losses.

Since Emirates management ended SriLankan also has made even bigger losses than running into around 10 billion rupees year.

De Silva said a 13 billion rupee (110 million dollar) tower project should also be halted.

“We are asking the government not to spend money this 13 billion rupees. Stop these unnecessary expenses and allow people to live.”

He said the current crisis was a result