ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka's new Treasury Secretary said the government must prioritize domestic agriculture and entrepreneurship, and hoped Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to repeat his previous economic management endeavors.
"Even through droughts, tsunamis, a boom in oil prices and global economic crisis, Sri Lanka was able to address these issues and the economy was uplifted through your (Rajapaksa's) direction and the leadership of then Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera," newly appointed Treasury Secretary S. R. Attygalle said.
He was speaking at a ceremony at the Finance Ministry, where Rajapaksa took over duties as a new Finance Minister, after being appointed last week as Prime Minister, triggering a constitutional crisis.
The ceremony also saw Attygalle being addressed as the Treasury Secretary, indicating he replaces R. H. S. Samaratunga.
Attygalle said the Finance Ministry now has to think of empowering local agriculture, businesses and entrepreneurs.
"We have to give them a market," he said.
The current financial crisis which has caused a currency depreciation also has to be addressed, Attygalle said.
"We also have to think about the standards of living of the people."
"We can't do all of this overnight, so we should think about what can be done in the short-term and the long-term."
"To address these issues, we know you have the skill and strength," he told Rajapaksa.
"I hope you have the strength and courage to make the country's economy stronger," Attygalle said.
He said the ministry staff will fully support Rajapaksa.