Yo-Yo Reforms

The Asian Development Bank warned on Saturday that the governments rocky relationship with the powerful executive presidency is stalling economic reforms.
“The absence of a bipartisan process makes it more difficult for us to be comfortable as to whether key reforms will take place,” ADBs Country Director, John Cooney told a media briefing. rn

rnThe countrys present political system also makes it difficult to take up painful economic reforms.rn

rnSri Lankas poor track record of aid utilisation was also crimping growth, Cooney said.rn

rn”Project implementation is much slower than we would like. The current average is around 11 percent and we would like to see it go up to around 18 percent,” Cooney said.rn

rnThe government recently appointed a committee headed by former Bank of Ceylon/John Keells Holdings Chairman, Ken Balendra to find ways to step up aid utilisation.rn

rnThe ADB is Sri Lankas second-largest donor after Japan, and has lent around US$ 240 mn towards various projects last year.rn