The government had always protected and strengthened state assets and the public services instead of weakening these, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday(23).
“Contrary to this policy, the opposition when in power sold state property and weakened the public service without considering its negative impact on the country.
“They are planning to do the same if they come to power again,” he added.
Addressing an election rally in Beruwala town, President Rajapaksa said the government approached development with a comprehensive plan with state enterprises as the key stakeholder. Speaking on some recent visits by a team of opposition parliamentarians to certain key development projects such as harbours, airports etc., the President said he felt at the time there was a hidden motive behind these visits.
“It has now proven to be right. These people are saying that they will sell these state assets if they come to power,” he added.
On the opposition policy of giving prominence in the private sector while taking the public sector lightly, the President said those who planned to prune the public service in the past and weaken it are of the same mindset even today. While noting that his manifesto for the upcoming election, released yesterday, had given due considerations to the development of all sectors, the President said on the other hand the opposition candidates manifesto has forgotten the importance of agriculture, businesses such as gems and tourism famous in the Beruwela area, to the country’s progress. “The opposition candidate’s manifesto has not mentioned anything about the fertilizer subsidy given by the government. The fertilizer subsidy has immensely benefited the farmers in the country,” the President said.
While promising that his government will continue and further expand the concessions given to the public such as the fertilizer subsidy, President Rajapaksa added: “Our government has already fulfilled all the pledges given to the public.”