from the speech of the President
Addressing the nation yesterday in a recorded broadcast, President
Chandrika Kumaratunga unveiled her new Government’s policies
and action plans for the future.
from the speech of the President:
"A National Council for Economic Development (NCED) functioning
under the President, is being created in order to streamline the
economic planning process of Government, with the participation
of the people’s representatives, private sector leaders, professionals
Strategic Enterprises Management Agency (SEMA) is also being set
up to ensure the effective management of public sector strategic
enterprises, such as the banks and power & energy institutions".
up of a National Procurement Agency is under way with the objective
of minimizing corruption in the State institutions and cutting out
Reforms Programme of 1998 will be reintroduced with new vigour.
The introduction of the new and modern curriculum, Information Technology,
English teaching, the upgrading of one school per Divisional Secretary
area with all the requisite facilities of the country’s best
schools, have all re-commenced implementation on a priority basis".
tea and coconut will be given the status of national crops and cultivation
zones will be established for one or two crops for the maximum utilization
of specific soil conditions in the different regions of the country.
Ten thousand small and medium scale existing irrigation tanks will
will undertake the modernization of existing fisheries harbours
with better storage facilities, the promotion of new fishing technologies
and the setting up of prawn farming zones".
government will continue to provide assistance to the large scale
industrial manufacturers, including the textile and apparel sector.
The policy adopted by the former People's Alliance government to
establish bi-lateral relations with the EU countries will be strengthened".
will focus on the small and medium scale industrialists and entrepreneurs
to spearhead domestic industry. Skills in technology and management
will be given through increased training jointly by the State and
the private sectors". "Small high quality upmarket resorts
will be promoted.”
the housing sector, the transfer of urban shanty dwellers to apartment
housing units through the REEL programme initiated by the former
PA government will be accelerated".
has commenced to implement a programme to increase the operational
bus fleet of the CTB and to improve route diversity and frequency
of the bus services. The private bus owners will be encouraged to
abide by the requirements of the Government’s development
comprehensive programme of modernisation of the railways is being
drawn up and will be implemented". "Priority will be given
to the early completion of the Colombo-Katunayake, Southern and
Colombo outer circular expressways and other major roads. High priority
will be given to the early implementation of our power generation
plan, in order to move to a least-cost power generating arrangement
by the year 2008". "The Galle and Hambantota ports, regional
ports in the North and East, airport and air cargo villages will
be developed". "A GDP growth of 6-8% will be our target
while an important aspect of this policy is the rehabilitation and
reconstruction of the North and East".
the area of budgetary and fiscal policy priority is to reverse the
adverse trends in fiscal development due to the reduction of government
revenue. A modern and efficient tax administration will be put in
place. Losses to the state due to the tax amnesty law and other
concessions, leakages and abuses will be corrected soon".
foreign aid amounting to over US$ 3.0 billion and rupee resources
of a further US$ 1.5 billion will be utilised for public investment".
"It is planned to reduce the deficit further to 5% of GDP during
the next 3 years".
food production will be incentivised to increase production. A regular
price surveillance mechanism will be introduced early, together
with an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) index in order to contain