GOVT. WON’T ABROGATE S’PORE-SL FTA

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SANDUN A JAYASEKERA

In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Min­is­ter Bandula Gu­nawar­dana said yes­ter­day the new gov­ern­ment did not in­tend ab­ro­gat­ing the much­crit­i­cized Sin­ga­pore-sri Lanka Free Trade Agree­ment be­cause it was an in­ter­na­tional trade pact.

“An FR has been filed against this agree­ment in the Supreme Court and Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena has ap­pointed Prof. W.D. Lak­sh­man to study it and file a re­port. There­fore, the gov­ern­ment would not abrogate the

Sri Lanka-sin­ga­pore Trade Agree­ment im­me­di­ately. Be­sides, It has been printed only in English and as such we must also print it in Sin­hala and Tamil as re­quired by Par­lia­ment Stand­ing Or­ders,” he said

The min­is­ter said his prime con­cern would be to nar­row the gap be­tween ex­ports and im­ports and as such would in­tro­duce dras­tic changes to the trade, in­vest­ment and mone­tary poli­cies adopted by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.

“The pre­vi­ous regime fol­lowed a pol­icy that ru­ined the lo­cal in­dus­try. They were more con­cerned on at­tack­ing po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents. The aban­don­ing of the ‘Port City’ project and de­sert­ing of many sub con­trac­tors led to loose the con­fi­dence among in­vestors. The FCID ques­tioned busi­ness lead­ers, chair­men and di­rec­tors of var­i­ous com­pa­nies com­pelling them to leave the coun­try and that af­fected the econ­omy badly,” he said.

The min­is­ter said he would try to re­solve is­sues per­tain­ing to the econ­omy, in­vest­ment and trade in a non-venge­ful man­ner.

“The

An FR has been filed against this agree­ment in the Supreme Court and Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena has ap­pointed Prof. W.D. Lak­sh­man to study it and file a re­port.

gov­ern­ment is con­fi­dent of a ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment and has the sup­port of 104 MPS at present, Min­is­ter S.B. Dis­sanayaka said.

He said Mr. Ranil Wick­remesinhe’s strug­gle right now was not to se­cure the pre­mier­ship but to be the leader of the op­po­si­tion and leader of the UNP.

The min­is­ter said those who left the UPFA camp were in con­tact with the UPFA lead­er­ship to come back and that he was con­fi­dent that for­mer min­is­ter Rishad Bathi­udeen would sup­port Mr. Mahinda Ra­japaksa.

“I be­lieve we can rope in three more UNP mem­bers. But some mem­bers of our camp do not like them. That is the de­lay. The UNP right now has only the sup­port of 98 mem­bers. The TNA and the JVP would not vote in favour of mak­ing Ranil Prime Min­is­ter. Any­how, if the TNA sup­ported Ranil, it will be frag­mented into three frac­tions,” the min­is­ter said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.