Sri Lanka private investment mooted to free public money for social spending

Aug 13, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should consider more private investment in education and health in prosperous areas, freeing public money for investment in upgrading in social services in lagging regions, an official said. Anura Ekanayake, chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, said there was a huge gap in the investments needed to modernise public infrastructure and social services with the government short of funds.

Private investment was the only way adequate funds could be found to make the required investments in modernising infrastructure and services fast enough to raise living standards of the people, he said.

Ekanayake was speaking at launch of a new World Bank report called Sri Lanka: Reshaping Economic Geography: Connecting People to Prosperity that suggests policy options for post-war Sri Lanka.

The study recommends building infrastructure needed to connect lagging regions to leading ones, targeted interventions to stimulate economic activity in lagging areas and improving basic services like education, health, water and sanitation everywhere.

The report highlights the fact that the capital Colombo and its surrounding Western Province accounts for more than half of the country’s e