UNP MP and Consultant Economist Dr. Harsha de Silva lamented that there wasn’t much to cheer in celebrating 63rd anniversary of independence given the “failure in the economic war.” Following is the statement issued by Dr. de Silva:
Today as we celebrate the 63rd anniversary of independence we appreciate the efforts of the Government and the armed forces in ending the terrorist war.
However we note with absolute dismay the Government’s total and continuing failure in the economic war.
This morning the President and the Governor of the Central Bank will issue a new series of currency notes purportedly to depict the nation’s ‘development and prosperity’. In fact the whole song and dance about issuing an entire new series is to obfuscate the addition of the Rs. 5,000 note.
So that no one would think otherwise the Central Bank has stated that this high denomination note has nothing to do with inflation. Perhaps they believe it is possible to fool all the people all the time. Unfortunately for the Government the people of Sri Lanka cannot be hoodwinked on an on-going basis.
The truth is that when the UPFA formed a Government in April 2004 the Colombo Consumer Price Index, or in other words the basket that measures inflation, was at 111.6 points. By January 2011, the CCPI had climbed to 231.2. This means that the price level during this period has increased by 107 per cent or more than doubled; said another way, the purchasing power of the Rupee has halved.
Therefore the need for the Rs. 5,000 note is clear to any person who is able to see through the propaganda of the Government. If one spent Rs. 2,415 to purchase some amount of food and other items when this Government came in to office, today that person needs Rs. 5,000 to purchase the same amount, simple as that.