Live fearlessly and develop the North and East – Raj Rajaratnam | Daily News

Live fearlessly and develop the North and East – Raj Rajaratnam

Sri Lankan Born USD Billionaire Raj Rajaratnam was highly optimistic about the broad plans to develop the Northern and Eastern Provinces. He noted that with proposed legislative changes and fixes to the formulation of economic policy, there would be more opportunities for bottom-up targeted capital investments in the local economy. Rajaratnam noted that he intended to stay and invest in Sri Lanka.

Rajaratnam said, “I have never been more optimistic about the North. The Central Government realizes the need to change, and they need external funds. The funding agencies know what is going on. The latest IMF proposals have set a condition regarding the disbursement of funds and the treatment of minorities.”

Rajaratnam was speaking on 14 January at the Teaching Hospital of Jaffna in collaboration with the Jaffna Medical Association. Sri Lanka alongside Indian investment plans to materialize large-scale developments in petroleum storage and electricity generation in the North. 

The country has also earmarked the Southern Ports for refining capacity and is looking to take on Fujairah and Singapore in the region.

Rajaratnam said, “The majority of startup firms fail. They fail for a variety of reasons; bad management, access to funds, wrong products, and wrong business strategy. However, when they succeed, they succeed well.”

He added, “Having a goal is not enough. You need a strategy to achieve your goal. I have a yearly strategy, a monthly strategy, a weekly strategy, and a daily strategy.”

There is large historical discontent towards the Provincial Council system. There is a large potential for conflict to take hold over government structures that oversee such large territories. Given the previous reforms electorally to the local council system it is likely that the constitutional shifts towards devolution will bypass and do away with the Provincial level and go directly to the Urban, Municipal, and Pradeshiya Sabha level.

The political agreement will be brought about by ensuring clear wording that provides power over the subjects of land, policing, and revenue generation over a predefined time horizon to the sub-national levels of government.

Rajaratnam said, “It is a tremendous time to be living and working in the Northern and Eastern Province. We have a tremendous platform to build on our thing.”

The Western Province has disproportionately drawn from Central Government spending. Corruption through leakages of customs duty has made Colombo merchants unfairly wealthy. Colombo has also benefited from distortionate valuations of its land bank facilitated with the oversight of the Central Bank.

Rajaratnam said, “I spent a week in Colombo and everyone is scared.”

Rajaratnam promised to spend time in Sri Lanka and help develop the region. He said, “I am in my own country with my people.”

As historically happened, Rajaratnam’s standing in Western Capital markets will help boost confidence in local capital markets. Rajaratnam in reference to people who are indebted to him for not colluding with the US government in their justice probe said, “I could have avoided this if I cooperated with the US government and pointed fingers at others. I had so many offers to falsely point my fingers at others. The unique system of the US justice system is that they want high profile guys and they let you negotiate to get others.” TP

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