Columnists,W. A. Wijewardena

Mangala’s Mangala Budget – Part 2: Go for reforms but permanently fix the country’s rising debt prob

Views - 122 Monday, 20 November 2017 00:05

Mangala’s Mangala Budget was approved in its Second Reading by a two-thirds majority in Parliament last week.


Promising and committed, but his Cabinet colleagues have to walk the talk

Views - 587 Monday, 13 November 2017 00:30

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s Mangala Budget (Maiden Budget) was presented to Parliament last week. A budget is simply a one year financial plan of the government.


Going for inflation targeting: ‘Yes’ but free the Central Bank from Ministry of Finance first

Views - 603 Monday, 6 November 2017 00:05

The Vision 2025 released to the public in August as well as the Economic Policy Statement delivered in Parliament in October has reiterated the Government’s commitment to maintaining a low inflation regime in the country.


Some more compelling reasons for Sri Lankan banks and firms to go for blockchain technology

Views - 927 Monday, 30 October 2017 00:10

Imagine a situation like this. You make an online payment to your internet service provider using your bank’s internet banking portal


Need for tax reforms: Government should not lose it this time but go for them early

Views - 621 Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

In the first economic policy statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made a number of pledges related to taxes and tax reforms. One was that the Government would review whether the tax concessions given to investors have really delivered the e


The bond robbery and CB’s reputation: Yahapalana Government should stop playing hide and seek

Views - 1971 Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

Immediately after the Treasury bond auction on 27 February 2015, the news of a massive impropriety that had taken place in the auction spread across the market like a wildfire.


Vision 2025 Part 4: PM’s alleged instructions to remove direct placements are against the Vision

Views - 696 Monday, 9 October 2017 00:00

Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, in an email to this writer, has clarified that what is meant by the goal of being ‘enriched’ in V2025 is not to become a rich country in terms of the World Bank class


Budgetary consolidation and resolving the country’s debt crisis permanently

Views - 559 Monday, 2 October 2017 00:10

It was shown that all these visions had one underlying economic philosophy to go by, namely, the establishment of a ‘knowledge based highly competitive social market economy’, a concept borrowed from post-war Germany.


It is an uphill task for the Govt. to attain the envisaged targets

Views - 722 Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

In Part 1 of the article series on the Government’s Vision 2025 published last week, it was pointed out that the present vision document was just the fourth of such visions pronounced by the Government during the last two year period.


Vision 2025: Part 1: Need for moving from a wish list to a concrete plan

Views - 1196 Monday, 18 September 2017 01:14

The Unity Government released its newest economic policy statement titled V2025 – the marketing tag for the goals it has set for realisation from 2017 to 2025 – two weeks ago.


Eradication of corruption: ignoring Harsha’s warning may be catastrophic to Yahapalana Government

Views - 711 Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Dr. Harsha de Silva in an emotion-filled intervention during a live television discussion program berated the whole administrative system of the country (available at: https://www.youtube.co


The role of universities in bringing continued economic prosperity to Sri Lanka

Views - 437 Monday, 4 September 2017 00:05

This is an expanded version of the Convocation Address delivered at the 13th General Convocation of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka on 30 August.


USJ VC to students: Destroy the image of the university to your own peril

Views - 1354 Monday, 28 August 2017 00:11

A VC’s warning The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Professor Sampath Amaratunga addressing a section of the students last week at a university event, delivered an important message to them. That was not to play wit


Sri Lanka’s march toward emerging sciences: A rugged road but not impossible to tread

Views - 1313 Monday, 21 August 2017 00:00

Minister Susil Premajayantha speaking at the biotech degree launch Northumbria University’s biotechnology degree in Sri Lanka At a recent event at which the UK-based Northumbria University’s BSc Honours Degree in biotec


Issue of Treasury bonds: CB has finally vindicated direct placements

Views - 1868 Monday, 14 August 2017 00:02

The reintroduction of the direct placement system under a new format by the Central Bank is a welcome sign   Restoration of direct placements in Treasury bond issue after two years Effective from 27 July 2017,


Plotting to breach the confidentiality of the Central Bank? Not a matter to be ignored

Views - 2271 Tuesday, 8 August 2017 00:00

Why should someone plot to obtain information pertaining to the Central Bank? That is because such information has economic value and could be used by those who get the advance information for their own profit    


Education should be reformed to create creative capital and not mere human capital

Views - 1965 Monday, 31 July 2017 00:10

The objective of education should be to create relevant and applicable wisdom among students The continued economic prosperity of a nation depends on its having a critical pool of wisdom. Those with wisdom learn from the past


Rescuing tea industry: Time to act global after thinking global too!

Views - 2068 Monday, 24 July 2017 00:01

A nation savouring small gains An important message was delivered to Sri Lanka’s policymakers and bastions in the tea industry by five experts who participated in a live TV discussion on the subject recently (available at: https:/


Privately funded education vs. publicly funded education: Elimination of myths needed

Views - 2701 Monday, 17 July 2017 00:09

Two issues raised by readers Several readers of the last week’s article in this series (available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/627020/SAITM--A-war-unto-a-finish-to-protect-their-interests-by-monopolies-and-oligopolies) on the SAITM impasse


SAITM: A war unto a finish to protect their interests by monopolies and oligopolies

Views - 3195 Monday, 10 July 2017 00:32

GMOA has been in the practice of announcing wildcat strikes demanding the closure of SAITM, crippling the country’s State-sponsored medicare system – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara   A war between monopolies Economist


Green accounting for sustainable development: Much to be done to convert hype to reality

Views - 2799 Monday, 3 July 2017 00:16

Keynote address delivered at Wayamba University’s research symposium To be of use, green accounting has to be accepted by global community as the framework for measuring output at firm as well as national level   


Saman Kelegama: Even the blood running through his veins is oriented to economics

Views - 4397 Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:10

The bearded economist who saw shortcomings of Sri Lanka’s liberalisation move My association with Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies or IPS, dates back to the early 1990s when I had the opportunity to


Sri Lanka has no choice but to grow with giants

Views - 3661 Monday, 19 June 2017 00:10

Sri Lanka has no choice but to adopt a development strategy that helps it to grow with giants – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara   Nature while creating giants has empowered dwarfs with overpowering cunningness One can accuse


Asking a wings-clipped Finance Minister to fly is a classic repeat of ‘Dunna Dunugamuwe’

Views - 4429 Monday, 12 June 2017 00:01

An unorthodox and illogical functional allocation President Maithripala Sirisena has issued the Extraordinary Gazette Notification dated 7 June 2017 allocating functions among the newly sworn-in Ministers a week ago. In this notification too, th


Missing the bus to prosperity: Sri Lanka should now go for comprehensive reforms instead of savourin

Views - 5379 Monday, 5 June 2017 00:10

Samaraweera’s commitment to policy reforms Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, lamenting over the country’s missed opportunities in the past due to not making correct decisions at the correct time, has reiterated his commitmen


New Finance Minister has a Herculean task ahead; he will win only if he moves with foresight

Views - 4368 Monday, 29 May 2017 00:05

New Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera officially assuming duties at the ministry  – Pic by Pradeep Pathirana   Promise to continue with economic reform program The new Minister of Finance, Mangala Sa


One Belt One Road Initiative: When Donald Trump closes up, Xi Jinping plans to open up

Views - 4721 Monday, 22 May 2017 00:07

Chinese President Xi Jinping together with Heads of Governments including Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pose for a group picture at the opening of the Belt and Road for International Cooperation Summit in Beijing,


CB Annual Report 2016: Bold in critical analysis and proactive in policy recommendations

Views - 5064 Monday, 15 May 2017 00:21

Release of CB Annual Report 2016 The Monetary Board released its Annual Report on the state of the economy in 2016, commonly known as the Central Bank Annual Report, two weeks ago. The Governor and the senior officers of the bank had in per


Reform of Exchange Controls – Part III: Proposed Foreign Exchange Act, an improvement on many count

Views - 5466 Monday, 8 May 2017 00:04

Making exchange control a permanent law In parts one and two of this series (available respectively at: http://www.ft.lk/article/610886/Reform-of-exchange-controls--There-is-a-need--but-do-it-correctly-%E2%80%93-Part-I and http://www.ft.lk/


Reform of exchange controls – Part II: Bringing exchange controls to the permanent law book

Views - 5793 Tuesday, 2 May 2017 00:00

 The Central Bank implements ECA as the agent of the Government and for that purpose has to create a separate department called the Exchange Control Department     Exchange controls to fight a war In P


Today's Columnists

Mangala’s Mangala Budget – Part 2: Go for reforms but permanently fix the country’s rising debt prob

Monday, 20 November 2017

Mangala’s Mangala Budget was approved in its Second Reading by a two-thirds majority in Parliament last week.


Improving the quality of policy proposals in the Budget

Monday, 20 November 2017

Every Budget Speech includes complex policy measures. Given the traditions associated with the Budget Speech, it is not possible to conduct public consultations on each of the measures beforehand.


Today’s bonding with Bhagavad-Gita

Monday, 20 November 2017

We live in times of moral complexity. Whose deed is more pernicious, a burglar raiding the vault or the cop who wipes away the burglar’s fingerprints?


Is Iran a threat to global peace?

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The aim of this article is to explore Iran’s nuclear program and its consequences throughout the world. Iran one of the nuclear power countries in the Middle East, which has brought very grave concern to the US.


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