April, 17, 2020
The strategy formulated to revive the economy and to ensure the return of normalcy while reducing measures put in place to counter COVID-19 will be announced during the weekend, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said yesterday (16).
Meeting with the Secretaries to Ministries on Wednesday(15) at the Presidential Secretariat, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa discussed rebuilding the economy in the face of the current challenges.
A focal point of the discussion was on returning to normalcy. To do so, President Rajapaksa had emphasised the need for the public and private sectors to recommence business activities.
“Thus, curfew needs to be eased to allow these functionalities to proceed without undue obstruction. The responsibility of ensuring the public adhering to safety regulations and preventing large gatherings was entrusted on the Secretaries to the Ministries as well as heads of institutes,” the statement said.
Rebuilding a policy-driven economy is the responsibility of all, noted the President. Whilst protecting people and the local economy, the responsibility of creating a new economic trend lies with the Ministries. It is important to establish new businesses and industries. Experienced entrepreneurs must have fresh opportunities.
The relevant Ministries must at the same time extend the required foundation and support needed for agrarian and fisheries sectors as well as other businesses to recover.
Taking the global crisis into consideration, the need to pay special attention to the local agrarian economy was underlined. Facilities needed to maximise production of export agricultural crops from available land must also be provided, President Rajapaksa instructed the officials. Thus, it is very important that even the farmer at village level has easy access to the State machinery.
The discussions also centred on restarting the development projects that were halted due to the prevailing crisis. One of these projects was the initiation to add 100,000 km to the existing road network. It was decided to prioritise this project as a starting point.
Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundara, Principal Advisor to President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath and Cabinet Secretary S. Amarasekera also joined the discussion.