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New analytical unit established

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  • Harsha says new unit to increase data based decision making for policy consistency


By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent

The Government has established a new analytical unit to improve scientific analysis and infuse it to decision making, Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr. Harsha de Silva told Parliament yesterday.

Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr. Harsha de Silva

According to de Silva, the new unit has a group of professionals who have graduated from local universities analysing data to be used when the Government is making crucial decisions. 

“We have started an analytic unit for the Government. It is a profession that has much demand in the world. This is a new move. Making this unit, we started a new program themed from bricks to the microscope. So, we found that we have invested more on the hardware material, compared to what was spent on knowledge development,” he said.

Highlighting the new culture the Government has moved towards in Budget 2019 to establish a knowledge economy, de Silva held that more stress will be placed on getting the private sector involved in national development. “Instead of making use of State funds, we have started the build and transfer method. This brings in the private sector for construction, while the Government spends on technological advancement,” he said.

“The Cost of Living Committee used to meet after an issue. There was policy inconsistency. We should plan before an issue surfaces. I was given the task some time ago, when coconut was sold at Rs.140, to find a way to control prices of essential items. We have also brought a formula for milk powder, which fluctuates globally. But here in Sri Lanka, the prices don’t adjust according to the global prices. Now with the formula, the local prices will also fluctuate. LPG gas is also the same. No need to go behind the politicians to adjust prices. The price adjustments should be made scientifically,” he added.

The Government would also embark on a ground-breaking food and vegetable storage facility, with the capability of temperature control. The Government will invite the private sector to enter agriculture logistics and provide incentives by removing taxes, de Silva said. 

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