Basil highlights historic GDP growth at economic planning review meeting

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 01:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday said that Mahinda Rajapaksa Government has achieved highest economic growth in Sri Lanka’s post independence history and has brought stability to the economy within a short period of time of after the defeating of terrorism.

This statement Minister Rajapaksa made at the Economic Planning Review meeting held at the Ministry of Economic Development yesterday in reference to the Central Bank’s 2011 Annual Report, also released yesterday.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also Finance Minister was the Chief Guest at the launch whilst Minister Rajapaksa was also present.

Minister Rajapaksa told the Economic Planning Review meeting that in 2010, the full year after the end of terrorism the economy grew by 8%. In 2011 growth rate was 8.3%. Sri Lanka started preparing national data after establishing the central bank in 1950. During those 62 years this is the first occasion Sri Lanka has achieved 8.3% growth rate and sustaining a growth momentum of over 8% in two consecutive years.

“Sri Lanka will achieve significant growth in 2012 also. Economic forecast for many countries were downgraded very recently owing to world economic crisis and high oil prices. We had to downgrade Sri Lanka’s earlier forecast. But in a modest term compare with other countries Government was able to manage countries economy well during this difficult period,” the Minister added.

 “The strong growth has not come without challenges and risks. In parallels with the increase in stability and confidence in the economy, strong domestic demand has resulted in high imports creating balance of payment problems. We have taken some steps to contain the risk stemming from the external balance. In the view of recent policy action we have taken, we can manage the problems we faced with the external sector,” Minister Rajapaksa said.

He also said that inflow of FDI, growth of the tourism sector, increased remittance after exchange rate changes will help to overcome the BOP problems.  Increased production in the domestic agriculture, fisheries and livestock sectors and renewed economic activity in the Northern and Eastern provinces will help Sri Lanka to achieve a higher growth rate even in 2012.