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NECSL to form National Think Tank

Feb 9, 2018
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The National Economic Council of Sri Lanka (NECSL) will play a key role in contributing their inputs to the national economy and by streamlining proposals that are not detrimental to Sri Lanka, said its Secretary General and Chief Economist, Lalith P. Samarakoon. In a round table meeting with media at the Presidential Secretariat he said that the council was formed mainly to re look at some of the proposals form line Ministries before they were been forwarded to the Cabinet for approval.

He said that the NCESL is being headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and includes Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Finance Minister, Central Bank Governor and several other key officials. Samarakoon said that currently they were re studying several proposals that have been forwarded for approvals by line Ministries. “In addition we are also re looking at the restructuring of SriLankan Airlines which is a major burden to the national economy. I think the debt burden is too high for an investor to come forward and we may suggest a method to reduce this burden and then offer it back to a foreign airline.”

Samarakeeon also said that the NECSL will recruit new staff and move to World Trade Centre end of March 2018. “We will also form a National Think Tank to help economic development.” When ssked if the formation of another council to check proposals forwarded by line Ministries may take additional time for approvals he said that it may be so. “However this on the long run would be better for Sri Lanka rather than hurriedly approving projects.” Samarakoon also said that they will also talk with Central Bank to ascertain Sri Lanka’s current foreign debt and the best way to settle it. The current debt burden of the country is Rs. 10. 3 trillion, which is 80% of the GDP.

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