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Budget 2017: Significant improvement if not marred by policy inconsistencies and interference with t

Views - 5535 Tuesday, 15 November 2016 00:18

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake delivering the Budget Speech     A significant improvement in Budget 2017 The Budget 2017, presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament on


EPF should be investigated promptly as recommended by COPE

Views - 5167 Monday, 7 November 2016 00:05

  COPE recommendation: Investigate EPF fully The COPE report on the bond scam in the Central Bank from February 2015 to May 2016 has come up with, among others things, a very strong recommendation relating to EPF.  It has rec


The COPE report on bond scams: Not two reports as claimed but single one by 25 members

Views - 6972 Monday, 31 October 2016 00:01

  COPE report on bond scams The much talked about report by the Committee on Public Enterprises or COPE on the irregularities that are alleged to have taken place in the issue of Treasury bonds by the Central Bank from February


Fiscal reforms: An imperative for sustained growth

Views - 5341 Monday, 24 October 2016 00:01

SLEA 2016 keynote   Above 7% growth is needed to sustain the economy Sustained growth is normally viewed from two different angles today. One is from the point of environment and depletion of non- renewable resource


The Monetary Board’s wake up from slumber while hunting a whistle-blower

Views - 5730 Monday, 17 October 2016 00:02

  In two press releases issued last week just four days apart, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank has shown that it is now ready to stand up to its responsibility by the nation.  Silencing a whistle-blower The first press


Whistle-blowing on Perpetual Treasuries: Embarrassing but vindication of CB’s supervisory staff

Views - 9638 Monday, 10 October 2016 00:01

  A whistle-blower in the Central Bank The market last week was livid with a leaked on-site examination report, claimed to have been prepared by Central Bank’s primary dealer supervision staff, on the controversial primar


A Governor transforming adversity to prosperity

Views - 5016 Monday, 3 October 2016 00:10

Governor A.S. Jayawardena with President Chandrika Kumaratunga   The devastating attack on the Central Bank AS became the Governor of the Central Bank in December 1995, a kind of a ‘coming-back-home&rsquo


Techno City is the first step in the right direction but there is much more to be done to attain the

Views - 5868 Monday, 26 September 2016 00:02

Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe signs on the digital drawing of the Techno City during its launch yesterday while Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka and Science, Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayantha


Sri Lanka’s bloodless revolution on 8 January: Malith Jayathilake has now spoken out

Views - 8085 Monday, 19 September 2016 00:02

Malith Jayathilake presenting the book to President Maithripala Sirisena  Architects of 8 January revolution are speaking out Those who were behind the scene leading to the bloodless revolution of 8 January have started to


Fear of ETCA: Is it Davids fearing to fight Goliaths?

Views - 10112 Tuesday, 13 September 2016 00:05

Small fellows can beat big fellows through proper brain power Malcolm Gladwell’s 2013 book ‘David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants’ is about how small fellows should fight with big fe


The falling education and healthcare expenditure ratios should worry the Yahapalana Government

Views - 6613 Monday, 5 September 2016 00:01

The promise to increase the expenditure on education and healthcare services University academics had agitated from around 2012, coupling with their demand for a hike in salaries and other perks, for an increase in government expenditure on edu


Economics of A.S Jayawardena Part III: AS’s short spell as Central Bank’s Economic Research Director

Views - 6366 Monday, 29 August 2016 00:10

The summary of the episodes so far The first part of this series looked at how AS, a radical socialist economist in his young days, was converted to a free market economic thinker. The second part dealt with how he took forward the mission of th


Be warned! Monetary Board is losing its powers as well as its independence

Views - 6943 Monday, 22 August 2016 00:02

   Two ominous measures by the Ministry of Finance Two disturbing news items that appeared in the press last week portended that the Monetary Board of the Central Bank was fast losing its powers as well as its independence. Bot


Economics of A.S. Jayawardena Part II: Our man in the Bank of Ceylon

Views - 6223 Monday, 15 August 2016 00:01

   A.S. Jayawardena   The story so far In Part I of this series we looked at how AS was transformed from a radical socialist economist to a free market economic thinker. It was noted that both the London Sc


Economics of A.S. Jayawardena 1: The birth of an extraordinary economist

Views - 6282 Monday, 8 August 2016 00:00

   Many Faceted ASJ Amarananda Somasiri Jayawardena, fondly addressed as AS by his friends, celebrated his 80th birthday last week. His friends, followers and disciples got an opportunity to pay tribute to this legendary man at


Good sign that the Monetary Board has finally risen to discharge its obligation to the nation

Views - 6940 Monday, 1 August 2016 00:01

   The Monetary Board decides to tighten monetary policy The Monetary Board in its latest monetary policy review done last week has decided to make money more expensive to people. People here include all within Sri Lanka &


Students’ troubles in universities: A question of misconceived cultural property rights?

Views - 7266 Monday, 25 July 2016 00:01

   Being the hotbed of trouble in the correct direction is a must Sri Lanka’s state-owned universities have always been hotbeds of trouble. Troubles are good for universities if they are in the right direction. U


Prema-chandra Athukorala Chinthana: Joining production sharing chain is the way out for Sri Lanka

Views - 6782 Monday, 18 July 2016 00:00

  Sharing production with the rest of the world The Sri Lankan-born economist of international repute and Australian National University Don, Prema-chandra Athukorala, offered a new economic policy strategy for Sri Lanka recently. He d


Direct sale of government securities: Demon or servant?

Views - 6329 Monday, 11 July 2016 00:00

  The demonised direct sales of Treasury bonds The Central Bank has been telling the public again and again since March 2015 that the sale of government securities directly to primary dealers is faulty. According to the Bank, the syste


The dream of a train enthusiast: Ride a Viceroy Special to the moon

Views - 5800 Monday, 4 July 2016 00:10

  A railway enthusiast to a fault Hemasiri Fernando is known in Sri Lanka and abroad as a sports administrator, bureaucrat, banker and entrepreneur. He is little known as a train enthusiast, though it was his hobby from his early child


Brexit: Are the UK Universities and the research sector the biggest casualty?

Views - 4979 Monday, 27 June 2016 00:10

Ryan Randall plays the bagpipes outside a polling station in Edinburgh, Scotland, in this Reuters picture. Brexit was fought on emotional grounds rather than on hard core economics or political realities    Brit


Cherry Blossoms – When an economist becomes a creative writer: That is the wonder of Sriyani Hulugal

Views - 5479 Monday, 20 June 2016 00:10

   The cover of Sriyani Hulugalle’s collection of short stories and poems ‘Cherry Blossoms’   An economist becoming a creative writer Economists are known for being heartless because


Bond fiasco and confronting the Auditor General: Monetary Board should be more mindful of its obliga

Views - 5759 Monday, 13 June 2016 00:00

   COPE directing the Central Bank to cooperate with AG A recent news item has reported that the parliamentary watchdog, the Committee on Public Enterprises or COPE had summoned the Central Bank Governor and his deputies on a c


Monetary Board’s latest statement on ‘bond fiascos’: A step backward and waking-up from a demonic dr

Views - 6730 Monday, 6 June 2016 00:20

 Implicit admission of guilt The Monetary Board of the Central Bank has at last chosen to break its stoic silence over allegations against two main Treasury bond fiascos supposed to have taken place in the Treasury bill and bond market in S


Handagama’s latest indictment: Fantasising educated middle class should wake up from their dreams

Views - 7299 Monday, 30 May 2016 00:10

   A film director famous for indicting others Asoka Handagama, an award-winning film director of international repute, has been known for using his medium to serve contemporary society with indictments. His first movie, &lsquo


Coming out of the economic crisis: Time is running out for Sri Lanka

Views - 7349 Tuesday, 24 May 2016 00:10

For Sri Lanka to attain its goal, it is of utmost importance to consolidate the budget which has gone out of control due to falling revenue and soaring expenditure   Crisis manifesting as a foreign exchange shortage Sr


Wisdom of a Monetary Board impassively watching over a fast declining capital base

Views - 6740 Monday, 16 May 2016 00:00

 Central Bank’s response is a salutary development A response issued by the Central Bank (available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/540589/Central-Bank-has-its-say-over--Continuously-loss-making-Central-Bank-is-no-better-than-Sri-Lankan-


Reintroducing repatriation requirement: Have the Finance Ministry and Central Bank gone back on thei

Views - 6979 Monday, 9 May 2016 00:10

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran  – File photo Move to change exchange control into exchange management Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in presenting the Economic


Continuously loss-making Central Bank is no better than SriLankan Airlines

Views - 7095 Tuesday, 3 May 2016 00:02

Central Bank capital depletion is also a landmine under PM’s feet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, supported by Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama, castigated SriLankan Airlines in a recent press briefing (available at: http://www.ft.lk/


A cherry-picking Monetary Board when another major ‘bond scandal’ is rubbing on its nose

Views - 7011 Monday, 25 April 2016 00:10

Source: EconomyNext  Monetary Board is the authority on monetary policy The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has issued a response (available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/536676/Central-Bank-responds-to--Dilemma-in-Monetary-


Today's Columnists

Many roads open

Saturday, 20 January 2018

We have just commenced Yahapalana Year 4. The third anniversary of Yahapalanaya is also the third anniversary of the defeat of the Rajapaksa regime. Both anniversaries coincide happily with the imminence of an island-wide election, the first since 20


Kasur child rape stems from subjugation of women in general

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Since the first week of the New Year, Pakistan has been in turmoil over the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl, Zainab, in Kasur, a small town not far from Lahore in the Punjab province.


Demagoguery, deception and decrepitude inherent in most contemporary democracies

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Democracy is well and good as long its erstwhile proponents and players remain committed to high attendant ideals, pursuing with some degree of intelligence and sanity (fast eroding with the ascent of Donald J. Trump). Surely one must be faithful and


Problem is not us women and booze: It’s paternalism and capriciousness in policymaking

Friday, 19 January 2018

The other day the President of Sri Lanka went public expressing his intention to revoke a ministerial order revoking the notion that a woman of any age has no more maturity than a youth less than eighteen years old.


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