President discusses rebuilding economy amidst COVID-19 challenges

Apr 16, 2020 (LBO) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa discussed rebuilding the economy in the face of the current challenges during a meeting with the secretaries to ministries yesterday (15) at the Presidential Secretariat.

A focal point of the discussion was on returning to normalcy without compromising safety. To do so, the President emphasized the need for the public and private sectors to recommence its business activities. Thus curfew needs to be eased to allow these functionalities to proceed without undue obstruction.

The responsibility of ensuring the public adhering to safety regulations and preventing large gatherings was entrusted on the secretaries to the ministries as well as heads of institutes.

Rebuilding a policy-driven economy is the responsibility of all, noted President. Whilst protecting people and the local economy, the responsibility of creating a new economic trend lies with the ministries. It is important to establish new businesses and industries. Experienced entrepreneurs must have fresh opportunities. The relevant ministries must at the same time extend the required foundation and support needed for agrarian and fisheries sectors as well as other businesses to recover.

Taking the global crisis into consideration, the need to pay special attention to the local agrarian economy was also underlined. Facilities needed to maximize production of export agricultural crops from available land must also be provided, President instructed the officials. Thus it is very important that even the farmer at the village level has easy access to the State machinery.

The discussions also centered on restarting the development projects that were halted due to the prevailing crisis. One of these projects was the initiation to add 100,000 km to the existing road network. It was decided to prioritize this project as a starting point.

Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundara, Principal Advisor to President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath and Cabinet Secretary S. Amarasekera also joined the discussion.