ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 47

Economic growth and the growing pangs of daily living

By Mark Amerasinghe, Kandy

In recent times, from time to time, the State’s leading economic experts -- the Governor of the Central Bank and the Secretary of the Treasury -- who should know best about the state of the economy, have made confident public statements that the economy has grown, is growing and will continue to grow.

Now this is most heart-warming news.

But unfortunately, the vast bulk of the people, the masses (including the middle class), are finding it increasingly difficult to get on with the business of daily living. Now then, there is here a great mismatch between reality and report. It is unthinkable to accuse the state's financial wizards of weaving sunshine stories during times of stormy weather.

So clearly, these experts are using criteria of assessment which most people (I for one, and I am just an average citizen, and not an economist) cannot comprehend. The rock-bed on which a democracy functions is that the people have a right to know the true state of affairs with regard to matters which affect their daily lives.

The people can and do expect, therefore, that these two important officials, the official spokespersons of the Minister of Finance, explain publicly and succinctly:

  1. 1. The basis on which they make these statements with regard to the growth of the economy. What do these statements mean from the point of view of the ordinary citizen? Who profits by this growth?
  2. 2.Why is it that this 'growth' is not matched with a palpable improvement in the growing problems of daily living?

Is it too much to ask? Over to you - Honourable Minister of Finance! Surely, it is your responsibility to instruct your officials to explain matters to a more-than-puzzled public.Hoping that this letter would catch the eye of those that matter.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.