The university students who represent the New United Media Forum have emphasized that an economic operation center that is directly accountable to the President should be established and its chairmanship should be given to Ravi Karunanayake, the best Finance Minister in Asia and the country's former Finance Minister.
The university students of the New United Media Forum, who point out that the President led government must understand that the economic crisis of the country cannot be overcome through the usual actions of the officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, also emphasized that the country- people have to pay compensation for the careless and unprofessional behavior of these officials.
This request is forwarded to President Ranil Wickremasinghe by Heshan Sampath Thilakaratne, Antony Agash Vaz, Geeth Taruka Munasinghe from Sri Lanka Technical University, Erandi Anuradha Subhasinghe, Akila Shehari Dulanjali from Sri Lanka Institute of Accountancy, Achintha Madura Samarasinghe Samith Imsuranga, Lumbini Pramodya ,Nilanthi Manel, and Hemantha Thusita Kumara from University of Sri Jayawardenepura, who represent the New United Media Forum.
Accordingly, economists, statisticians, experts who can find immediate solutions in respective fields, who are not afraid to make quick decisions, who have analytical ability with thinking power and who have the ability to think outside the tradition in a new way and who can think higher than these officials should be appointed to this economic operation center.
Meanwhile, the university students of the New United Media Forum also point out that Ravi Karunanayake's proposal that the economy should be digitalized shows that he is a mature global political leader who appreciates modernity.
The students highlighted that this proposal brought by Ravi Karunanayake in the face of the acute economic crisis that has arisen in the country and the situation in which the people are extremely helpless will be a solution to all the problems and it is clear that compared to other political leaders its Ravi Karunanayake's modern global vision, imagination, experience, maturity, goals and the program.
Accordingly, they have emphasized that educated, intelligent, experienced and global politicians who have a vision like Ravi Karunanayake should be attached to this economic operations center in order to build the country and improve the living standards of the people to accomplish the task of President Ranil wickremasinghe.
Heshan Sampath Thilakaratne, Antony Agash Vaz, Geeth Taruka Munasinghe of the Sri Lanka Technical University, Erandi Anuradha Subhasinghe, Akila Heshari of the Sri Lanka Institute of Accountancy, Achintha Madura Samarasinghe, Samith Isuranga, Lumbini Pramodhya, Nilanthi Manel, and Hemantha Tusita Kumara of Sri Jayewardenepura University who pointed out that the accusation of Ravi Karunanayake that it was the Central Bank of Sri Lanka which bankrupted the country also stated
"During the period from 1994 up to now, Chandrika Bandaranaike, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, KN Choksi, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ravi Karunanayake, Mangala Samaraweera, Basil Rajapaksa and President's Counsel Ali Sabri have held the positions of Finance Ministers in this country.
But apart from Ravi Karunanayake, none of the other Finance Ministers have received any international award for fulfilling their responsibility, duty and role positively for the country and have not been recognized nationally either.
The international "The Banker" magazine selecting Ravi Karunanayake as the Best Finance Minister in the Asia Pacific region in 2017, announced that this award is awarded to him for preventing the financial crisis that had arisen due to a balance of payments crisis and to restore the country's cash reserves thereby succeeding in rebuilding confidence of foreign investors.
When focusing on the government's tax revenue, Ravi Karunanayake was able to increase the tax revenue from 1050 billion rupees in 2014 to 1355 billion rupees in 2015, by 305 billion rupees or 30% and increase the products based tax to 256 billion rupees in 2015 by 241 billion.
The ratio of government revenue to GDP has been at a low figure for decades and the continued decline has led to many of Sri Lanka's public finance problems. Thus, the reason for the continued decline in that rate was the decline in government revenue.
The figure which was 17.2% in 2000 fell to 11.6% in 2014. In 2015 Ravi Karunanayake, who managed to raise the figure to 13.3%, raised the figure to 14.1% in 2016. Then, with the appointment of a new Finance Minister, this ratio started to fall again and in 2020, the figure decreased again to 9.6%.
He was able to increase the alcohol tax to 105 billion in 2015 which was 69 billion rupees in 2014 and cigarettes tax revenue 80 billion in 2015 which was 57 in 2014. Ravi Karunanayake, who managed to earn an income of about 60 billion rupees through these measures, expanded the tax net technically and took more taxes from the rich and gave a lot of concessions to the poor.
In the meantime, we all know that the International Monetary Fund has emphasized that in order to solve the current acute economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the financial policies, policy interest rates and taxes should be further increased and flexible exchange rates should be adopted.
What the International Monetary Fund says is to manage the country's economy the way it was led by then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake using technical and practical strategies.
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