“Government taking loans to fulfill own agendas” – Former Auditor General

“Government taking loans to fulfill own agendas” – Former Auditor General

Written by Staff Writer

14 Jun, 2019 | 9:44 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Speaking at a conference held in Colombo, Former Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said that the governments’ daily income is Rs. 5 billion and that all issues that have arisen in the country are due to the mismanagement of this sum.

He continued to say that regardless of whatever issues the country faced that this sum did not change and that it only increased by a margin when there are such issues. Wijesinghe further said that the treasury is similar to a well which if stepped aside for a while funds will flow into. He clarified that the issue lies in the government expenditure that stands at Rs. 7 billion despite a Rs. 5 billion income.

He continued to say that it is not difficult to bring down the expenditure to Rs 5 billion if the corruption in the country was eradicated which clearly is not being met with interest. The former AG said that the reason behind obtaining such huge chunks of debt was to either fulfil personal agendas or benefit from it as commission which has automatically turned into debt with no return. He presented the example of the Rajagiriya flyover which cost the country a sum of Rs. 4 billion.

The former AG also said that if he was the one obtaining this kind of debt that he will be extra careful adding that however the rulers have been brought to a state where they say that if they are the ones who obtain the loans and if the public is paying it “why should I care?”

Former auditor general Gamini Wijesinghe expressed these views during an intellectual’s forum that was held at the New Townhall in Colombo last evening (June 13). Several intellectuals have voiced the need for a new direction for the country in the recent past.

Singaporean academic and former diplomat Professor Kishore Mahbubani, is yet another intellect to voice ideas of similar nature. Mahbubani has over 30 years of experience as a diplomat and a state advisor and has comprehensive knowledge of public policy.

He said what brings many countries down especially in the third world is that when selecting the Ministerial portfolios especially the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Economics that they select their brothers, uncles or some other relative, but not to the best people. Mahbubani further says that in Singapore the situation is different and that they practise the exact opposite, where they do not consider any differences, where they put aside all different ideologies because if it works you can use it for the purpose.

He also says that in addition, a crucial factor that brings down many third world countries is the corruption within those countries. Deriving Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as an example he said that this is why he took the decision not to punish the junior people but the most senior people connected to a particular matter. He attributed this kind of honesty and transparency to the extreme success of Singapore.

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