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Sri Lanka PM warns private firms not to fund protests against trade deals

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s private firms not to fund protests to stop a trade deal with India, but be prepared to compete with the world instead of being a burden on the poor, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
"We expect the private sector to go and compete with the world," Wickremesinghe said. "Don’t just stay here and pay people to shout not to enter into agreements with India. When people go the streets in March you will learn a lesson."

"Don’t waste time going on streets. The media should also not waste time with the GMOA (Government Medical Officers Association)."

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said he expected state workers also to serve the people well.

Their benefit packages will be on a defined on a three year framework he said.

Sri Lanka’s economy is now in trouble after a steep state worker salary increase which the tax paying public could not afford.

Wickremesinghe said some import duties have already been brought down.

He said far too much taxes were being charged on the ordinary people.

The country should start to tax capital and rich people, he said.

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