Columnists

Questionable governance when loss-incurred CB has made a profit transfer to Government

Views - 7409 Monday, 2 March 2015 00:01

Massive losses incurred by Central Bank in 2013 A very vital piece of information relating to the Central Bank which has been missed by many has been the incurrence of a massive loss amounting to Rs. 24 billion in its ordinary operations during 2013


Supporting Sustainable Development: Bangladesh Bank Governor’s bold attempt at promoting green finan

Views - 6674 Monday, 23 February 2015 00:00

    Tendency to hail faster economic growth Countries, both rich and poor, have been long pursuing long policies for fast-growing the volume of material goods and services available to their citizens. When growth rates of close t


Delay in fighting corruption: An impatient electorate shouldn’t be taken lightly

Views - 7583 Monday, 16 February 2015 00:00

    Learn from Modi’s mistake Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister in 2014 in an anti-corruption wave. His election slogan ‘Good governance and lean government’ appealed to India’s middle class voters who had bee


EPF should exit banking sector and Central Bank should leave private banks in private hands

Views - 9228 Monday, 9 February 2015 00:10

EPF should quit the banking and financial sector as fast as possible and the Central Bank should leave private banks in the hands of the private sector. That is in line with good governance in central banking       Mone


Public servants’ salary hike, productivity improvement and lessons from Dompe eHospital Project

Views - 8858 Monday, 2 February 2015 00:00

A mega salary increase to public servants A mega giveaway offered in the Interim Budget 2015, presented to Parliament last week, has been the proposal to increase the salaries of public servants across the board. In terms of this proposal, the salar


Listing Central Bank under PM: Unworkable legally and operationally but a step toward bank’s indepen

Views - 8851 Monday, 26 January 2015 00:00

The Central Bank under the Prime Minister The gazette notification issued by President Maithripala Sirisena allocating subjects and institutions among different ministries has placed the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Policy Plannin


To regain lost credibility, Central Bank should act as ‘impartial spectator’ and not as ‘policy owne

Views - 8854 Monday, 19 January 2015 00:05

The loss of credibility The conduct of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank in the recent few years has drawn a lot of criticism from the concerned public. One such criticism has been that it has functioned as a branch office of the ruling party defending ins


The triumph of good governance: Sri Lanka has shown that it is a true ‘Wonder of Asia’

Views - 8280 Monday, 12 January 2015 00:01

Two different election platforms by the two main candidates The two main contenders to the presidency at the recently-concluded elections fought their battle on two different election platforms. The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa sought to sell


Choice at elections: Rationally ignorant people will decide the final outcome !

Views - 6394 Monday, 5 January 2015 00:00

Electors who do not read manifestos Just three more days to go for the election of a President, this writer asked a group of acquaintances whether they have gone through the election manifestos of the two main contenders to the post before they made


Two parables of a burning house: Both are relevant and useful to Sri Lankans today

Views - 8479 Monday, 29 December 2014 00:00

Bertolt Brecht going viral in social media At a recent political discussion on a private TV channel, a leading Sri Lankan author, Gamini Viyangoda, concluded his presentation with the Sinhala rendering of a poem by playwright Bertolt Brecht (availab


Tumbling of crude oil prices: Economic laws say that this is a temporary phenomenon

Views - 6293 Monday, 22 December 2014 00:00

A drastic reduction in crude oil prices Crude oil prices in the world market have tumbled and they are still tumbling. The average price of the West Texas Intermediate category of crude oil stood at a level of $ 100 per barrel, which is equal to 159


Developing SL pharmaceutical industry: Concentrate on research and producing biomedical scientists

Views - 7432 Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

A worthwhile suggestion that has been ignored At the pre-Budget meeting which the Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera had with business leaders, an important proposal to take Sri Lanka to the future was made by Hemas Holdings Chairman Husein Esufall


IPS State of the Economy 2014: A critical probe shows hidden risks and defects of policies

Views - 6455 Monday, 8 December 2014 00:00

IPS, the forerunner in reviewing the country’s economy The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), in issuing its 2014 State of the Economy Report, has drawn attention of Sri Lanka’s economic policy makers to a number of hidden risks and defects of t


Constitutional Reforms are meaningless unless opposing views are tolerated

Views - 6066 Monday, 1 December 2014 02:02

Wear the same tie as the boss but don’t agree to his unlawful orders Bank of Ceylon’s retired General Manager Sarath de Silva, addressing the Sri Jayewardenepura University’s Public Administration Alumni Association last week, left an importan


Indraratna Chinthana on sustained development: Still valid and will be valid forever

Views - 6327 Monday, 24 November 2014 00:00

The need for critically debating policy proposals Colombo University’s Emeritus Professor and Sri Lanka Economic Association’s President A.D.V. de S .Indraratna has just released in book form an updated and revised version of the SLEA presidenti


Single digit inflation for 5 years: Now the challenge is to get out of ‘Lowflation Trap’

Views - 7307 Monday, 17 November 2014 00:01

Driving down CCPI through administrative measures When the annual increase in the cost of living of average consumers in Colombo and suburbs declined from 3.5% in September to 1.6% in October 2014, the Central Bank could not hide its joy. In its pre


My View at 200: Objective was to change the monologue culture to dialogue and then to multilogue; bu

Views - 5848 Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

Unbroken 200 runs Today’s My View – Economics Matters marks its 200th article published in this series on the economy, society, politics and global developments. It has appeared without failure on every Monday for nearly four years and maintaini


Now that Representative Democracy has become a mockery, the solution may lie in Liquid Democracy

Views - 9270 Monday, 3 November 2014 00:00

Discipline among Parliamentarians in good old days     This writer had an opportunity to observe a Budget debate in the old parliamentary building at Galle Face in 1974 when N.M. Perera, popularly known as NM, was the Minister of Finance. In that


Strategy in public policy: Continuous public consultations a must

Views - 8236 Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka? The official name of the country called Sri Lanka is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. One may wonder what this means because many other countries have chosen to call themselves just Republic


When the engine of growth gets into a comfort zone, it is the engine driver who gets into trouble

Views - 6242 Monday, 20 October 2014 00:01

Private sector is the engine of growth and public sector is the engine driver Private sectors in modern economies are branded as ‘Engines of Growth’. They have earned this brand name due to their innovative power, resilience, foresight and abili


Governments are losing monopoly over economic statistics; it means markets better-informed now

Views - 6646 Monday, 13 October 2014 00:00

Offering a yielding handto politicians Politicians love to show better economic performance pictures to their voters. The statistics-producing bodies of governments love to please politicians by generating exactly the reports which the latter would


‘The Money Pipeline’: A worthy read by all

Views - 5957 Monday, 6 October 2014 00:00

The former Central Bank Deputy Governor and presently Chairperson of HNB cum Presidential Advisor, Ranee Jayamaha, has shared her decades-long experiences in payment systems and banking stability with readers in Sri Lanka as well as outside. Her book


Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Review: Is there a hidden macroeconomic anomaly?

Views - 9143 Monday, 29 September 2014 00:00

The monthly monetary policy review The Central Bank issued its monthly Monetary Policy Review on 23 September 2014 (available at http://www.cbsl.gov.lk/pics_n_docs/02_prs/_docs/press/press_20140923e.pdf) Monetary Policy Review, September 2014). The


Lesson from Nigeria: Discovery of a natural resource by a country without good governance is a curse

Views - 6306 Monday, 22 September 2014 00:00

The Nigerian news that shocked the world During the last 12 month period, three pieces of news coming from Nigeria shocked the world. The first was the sacking of the Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, by Nigeria’s President Goodlu


Sannasgala ‘Chinthana’: A worm’s eye view of village and society

Views - 11202 Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00

Two messages from Sannasgala’s ‘Amma’ Upul Shantha Sannasgala, popular Sinhala teacher cum writer, in his latest semi-autobiographical fiction, ‘Amma’ or ‘Mother,’ has left two pieces of thought for intellectuals to ponder. One is that


Sri Lanka can ‘leap-frog’ into the future through Nanotechnology

Views - 6987 Tuesday, 9 September 2014 00:17

Open campaign for learning nanotechnology When the new students arrived in the Bangkok-based international university, Asian Institute of Technology a month ago, a poster displayed practically on every wall on campus had invited students to offer co


Creative minds of writers can predict the future

Views - 6021 Monday, 1 September 2014 00:00

At the launch of ‘Asirimath Greesiya’ or ‘Wonder that is Greece’ by dramatist-novelist Ranjith Dharmakeerthi last week in Colombo, Colombo University’s senior Don Sarath Wijesoriya, who introduced the book to the audience, drew its attentio


Out-of-court settlements with errant banks: Is financial services industry on a dying path?

Views - 12044 Monday, 25 August 2014 00:00

Banks are at the receiving end The reports coming from global financial markets are not good for banks at all. Banking regulators have renewed their war against whom they perceive as errant banks. The law enforcement agencies in their respective cou


COPE’s control over public enterprises: A serious lapse in economic policy governance?

Views - 7024 Monday, 18 August 2014 00:34

N.M. Perera: Avoiding Parliamentary control over public institutions is undemocratic An eternal debate between veteran politician and LSSP leader Dr. N.M. Perera and Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister J.R. Jayewardene in Parliament during 1


Bank capital is not a panacea

Views - 9576 Monday, 11 August 2014 00:00

Raghuram Rajan’s wisdom Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, an illustrious academic but now a practising central banker, is reported to have left an important message to central bankers from South Asia at a seminar held at the Central B


Today's Columnists

East Container Terminal blunder: Learn from Chinese

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Minister for Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe informed the press in August that Cabinet has approved the development of East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port by the Ports Authority. According to approval: nPorts Authority would develop


President Sirisena, playing with fire, must take note that smoke will get into his eyes

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Penchant for playing with fire President Gamaralalage Sirisena has always had a penchant for playing with fire. He did fire-play at the local government elections when he made a disastrous U-turn and went round country blasting the party and its lea


Response to claims that Sri Lanka was in a ‘debt trap’ in 2014 due to ‘Chinese loans’

Monday, 17 September 2018

Several Western analysts have carried out a relentless media campaign in keeping with their own geopolitical agenda, to suggest that China was luring Sri Lanka into a carefully engineered debt trap.


Understanding the debt trap: Nothing but simple arithmetic

Monday, 17 September 2018

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking recently at the World Economic Forum in Vietnam, denied that Sri Lanka was in danger of spiralling into a debt trap from excessive Chinese borrowings


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