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* Sri Lanka government's reckless borrowing hurting the public, opposition economist says
Mon, Mar 8, 2010, 09:47 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka government's economic policy of robbing Peter to pay Paul has contributed to the downward spiral of economy increasing the country's debts, a leading economist said.

Addressing a press briefing today, economist, and main opposition United National Party national list candidate Dr. Harsha de Silva said the present government is borrowing money recklessly.

The cost of payment of salaries and the interest on borrowings of the government exceeds the total income of the government while its expenditure too is recklessly rising, Dr. de Silva pointed out.

He questioned how under these circumstances the government can fulfill its promises of developing the country or alleviating the burden on the people.

"How can the government think of developing the country or alleviating the acute sufferings of the people? Where is it having the funds?" he asked.

Pointing out that the government's promised salary hike of Rs. 2500 and a cost of living allowance to workers would need Rs. 47 billion, the UNP national list nominee asked how the government can realistically fulfill this promise when its present income is not enough to pay the interest on its borrowings and the present salaries.

The leading economist criticized the government of neglecting the most vital sectors, the health, agriculture, and education where most investment must be made. The government actually has curtailed the investments in these sectors, he accused.

If the government is truly concerned about the people, it must reorient itself towards the primary interests of the people and the country subordinating its power greed and gaze on winning elections, the UNP candidate said.

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