Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday declared that corruption was the cause for poor public and private sector work and urged business leaders to be exemplary with best practices.
“It is most important that the private sector does not engage in malpractices and with more and more work being awarded to the private sector, it is important for business leaders to put their foot down against such malpractices and set an example,” Rajapaksa told a forum of chartered accountants.
|Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa gestures whilst talking with ICASL President Sujeewa Mudalige. World Bank Chief Finance Management Officer Tony Hegarty and ICASL Vice President Sujeewa Rajapaksa are also present - Pic by Upul Abayasekara
In his address as the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony of the 32nd National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL), Defence Secretary cited corruption as one of major reasons for the quality of work suffering in both the public and private sector.w
He also said that conference theme ‘Quest for Balance’ was timely and underscored the complex choices facing the country. The Minister urged the facilitation of the overall development thrust in order to drive Sri Lanka towards a prosperous future.
“There are many sectors that suffered during the war and are now recovering rapidly. Sri Lanka as a country has potential and now is the time for the potential to be realised. A proper balance between the activities of the Government and the private sector is necessary. The public sector has always played an important role and at the same time the private sector has contributed as well – both sectors now need to concentrate on improving the areas in which they are presently weak,” he said.
He stressed on the fact that there were many areas in which there were great opportunities for the private sector to invest in and added that the private sector must also provide leadership through the maintenance of proper standards and high quality work.
“The rapid development of infrastructure in the north has created a lot of potential for the construction industry as well as many others. I can tell you from my experience that there is presently a dearth of contractors in several fields, including in minor ones. Companies engaged in these are already stretched to the limit and have not trained people for high quality work. The private sector should take advantage of the boom,” the Defence Secretary recommended.
“The situation is becoming much more conducive to investment throughout the land and if our collective vision is to be fulfilled, it is important that investments move outside Colombo. The Government will fulfil its role ensuring that a proper environment is maintained for economic development, but it is up to the private sector to be the engine for growth,” he added.