President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the country is now placed in a comfort zone after a period of great challenge and great sacrifices.
There were many problems facing the country. It was not possible to have a clear image of the country's future. Due to terrorism that prevailed for more than three decades, the country had been lagging behind in many spheres, he said.
The President was speaking at the release of the Finance and Planning Ministry Report 2013 at the Milodha building in Colombo yesterday (May 28).
Taking the entire economy as a whole what was witnessed was an environment of great instability, the President stated.
As an outcome of the development of the power and energy sector, over 90 percent of households have been provided with electricity," the President said.
It is observed that the country has been placed on a rapid development path. The Government has launched a large number of mega development projects that will bring benefits to all sectors of society. Accordingly, the road network was developed giving due priority to the national, provincial and rural needs. This also enabled the Government to launch large infrastructure development projects such as Norochcholai thermal power plant, Upper Kothmale hydro power plant, the Ruhunu Magampura Port, the Colombo-Katunayake expressway, the Southern expressway and the expansion of the Colombo harbor etc," the President added.
President Rajapaksa said, Sri Lanka has maintained significant economic growth at an impressive pace owing to pursuance of the Mahinda Chintana ten year vision program while maintaining proper fiscal discipline.
Our achievement was due to the Government's commitment towards continued fiscal discipline and following directives of the Mahinda Chintana. The Government never hesitates to take bold decisions with long term interests, even though the earlier governments failed to do so, he said.
"Past governments did not have sufficient courage to commence most of the development projects, which are now at the final stages of completion or have already been commissioned," the President said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa recalled that the previous Governments shut down 40 industries, which could have been developed as state ventures that would have produced employment.
Our main challenge was to achieve a high level of development that would bring suitable returns to all sectors of society, he said.
He added that normally, the Secretary to the Finance Ministry is criticized by politicians though the Finance Minister himself is spared. However, the Government never turns a deaf ear to anyone. The Government eagerly listens to any issue and does its best to sort it out, he said.
People live today in an environment that is more free and prosperous than in the past. They are today in an environment where economic progress moves together with ethical values and the protection of a green and sustainable Sri Lanka. People live under conditions that have an impact on the present and future conditions of our people that can bring about productive changes in all sectors," the President said.
The President noted that during the period of terror the people had been undergoing immense hardships for more than three decades. "Not only the terror, the people were also battered by tsunamis. However, the country has been driven toward progress," President Rajapaksa said.
"Moreover, the Government also took speedy measures to develop agriculture, the fisheries sector and the small and medium industrial sector and launched large provincial development schemes bringing considerable investments to key sectors of public needs such as housing, drinking water, power, schools, health facilities and education," the President further stated.