Timely book on economic crisis | Daily News

Timely book on economic crisis

Author  R. A. Jayaweera
Author R. A. Jayaweera

A book on Warthamana Arubudaya Jaya Gathaheki Maga (The way to overcome present crisis) by veteran author R. A. Jayaweera is a complete guide for the average citizen to understand the gravity of the economic crisis ahead of the country.

The author is attempting to educate the average reader on how the country’s economic crisis deepened and the way to get out of this crisis.

The country's foreign currency reserves have plummeted to the lowest level, decreasing its ability to purchase imports and driving up domestic prices for goods.

Quite different from conventional economists, the book is based on years of analysis and observations of the way that the country’s economy has been heading towards the present situation.

Jayaweera wants Sri Lanka to follow Thailand’s footsteps to get out of the existing economic crisis by establishing a fund with the fullest support of Buddhist monks, religious leaders and the civil society.

He says that Thais donated cash and gold jewellery to help shore up the foreign reserves after Buddhist monks appealed to the public to rally to save Thailand’s economy during the Asian Economic Crisis in 1997.

Jayaweera through his book opts to focus on short-sighted and immature decisions taken by successive Governments after Independence which dragged the economy into the present abyss.

The author says that tax exemptions, futile attempts to control prices of essentials through Gazette notifications and relentless efforts to fix exchange rates regardless of market signals have directly led to the present economic downturn in the country.

The author is of the view that the Sri Lanka expatriate community is inadvertently contributing to providing foreign currency needed by drug traffickers by sending their money to the country through illegal means, expecting a profit of Rs.10 or Rs.20 more per dollar.

Jayaweera explains how foreign currency earned by Sri Lankan expatriates are retained by some racketeers connected with the drug mafia without sending such funds to the country through proper channels.

He says the importers are also involved in making a considerable portion of their payments through illegal methods to evade import duties and VAT taxes. The book gives a vivid description on how the country’s foreign reserves decreased to an unprecedented level from 2019 onwards.

Jayaweera points out the intrinsic value of ensuring financial management and transparency in every transaction of the Government to retain public confidence.

He proposes two Funds aiming at mitigating the impact of the economic crisis on the country. He is of the view that a Fund with the aim of collecting foreign currency from expatriate workers overseas should be formed with an impartial board of trustees.

He says that this board of trustees should maintain utmost transparency and financial discipline in their affairs and no person(s) should have the authority to interfere in its decisions.

The book, spanning 158 pages, has touched many areas including foreign loans, short-sighted economic decisions, the Hawala and Undial trap, Governance, Transparency and Accountability.

The author is a Chartered Accountant and his experience in diverse areas of corporate finance and research for more than four decades have been infused in the overall presentation of this book. He is a distinguished old student of Sivali Central College, Ratnapura.

 


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