Sri Lanka CB governor says South Asian policy making improving

Aug 21, 2008 (LBO) – Economic policies in South Asia are improving and people are taking ownership for policymaking and are no longer driven by multilateral institutions, Sri Lanka’s central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. “We are now taking ownership of our own destinies,” Cabraal said at the opening of a regional symposium of senior central bankers.

“At one time multi-lateral institutions and foreign experts told us what to do.”

Until India shook off its ‘Hindu’ rate of growth South Asia had lagged behind the rest of the world after gaining independence from Britain, though East Asian nations forged ahead with good economic policies that slashed poverty and made their populations prosperous.

Weak Policies

Meanwhile South Asia in general printed money to finance large governments, and was mired in left-oriented economic policies that were championed, especially in India.

This caused a vicious cycle of high inflation which impoverished the population and currency depreciation to preserve foreign reserves and save domestic and export industry.

The region is reputed to have half the world’s poor.

After colonial currency boards – which permitted the free flow of capital, free trade