Blaming each other will not solve issues - Namal Rajapaksa | Sunday Observer

Blaming each other will not solve issues - Namal Rajapaksa

8 May, 2022

Former Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa said that economic decisions cannot be taken by politicians and that the incumbent Government and the Finance Ministers had always acted on the advice given by certain officials.

In an interview with the BBC, former Minister Rajapaksa was questioned about the huge tax relief given by the Government as soon as it came to power and whether it was the right decision given the country did not have enough revenue.

“No. I think it was not the right decision. But it was taken with the right intention at that time by the President to make sure that local businesses reinvest that money back into the economy,” he said.

“So, the intention was that, but unfortunately it did not go the way he thought it would.”

The former Minister said he had expected the decision to be reversed in the second Budget presented by the Government. “I thought they would reverse the decision in the second Budget but unfortunately that did not happen,” he said.

Asked as to why the Government didn’t heed the advice of economists who recommended going to the IMF and to float the rupee, Rajapaksa said that also goes back to the officials who make decisions. “Because economic decisions cannot be taken by politicians,” he said.

“The Government or the Finance Minister and the Secretary particularly acted upon advice given to him by certain officials and that was admitted by the incumbent Finance Minister, in Parliament, that certain officials gave wrong advice,” he said.

On what he would tell the people suffering the brunt of the economic crisis, he said, “We need to work it out. There is no point blaming each other, right? I mean as politicians we are good at blaming each other. But will that actually solve the issues? Will that give them three meals?”

“Responsibility is there and accountability also must be there, but at the same time we also must look at the way forward,” the SLPP MP said. “But at present, I don’t see any politician in Parliament including the Opposition talking about the way forward,” he said.