Vision: Sri Lanka will enjoy status of developed nation by 2020
Eradication of 30 years of brutal LTTE terrorism has given us a historical opportunity to develop this tiny island into a well developed advanced society in modern age.
Where we are?
Prospect of peace has given the country an opportunity with new economic development. Good potential for tourism industry, growth sectors like BPO, foreign direct investments on IT. Massive drive for infrastructure development, country wide agricultural sector including North and East farmers, Sri Lanka and we need to seize the opportunity to become more productive and more competitive in the global economy.
Today Sri Lanka is a country where population living below US $ 1 a day (1990-2004) is 5.6%, population living below US $ 2 a day (1990-2004) is 41.6% while GDP Growth was 6.0 % in 2008.
Other statistics (%):
- Agriculture 7.5, Industry 5.9, Services 5.6
- Unemployment rate 5.2% as a number 394,000 (2008)
- Inflation 22.6 (2008)
- Interest rate 21.5 (2008)
- Budget deficit Rs. 351,071 million (2008)
- Budget deficit as % of GDP 7.7% (2008)
- Literacy 90.8% (overall % of population – 2008)
- Computer literacy 16.7%
- UN e-Governance ranking 101 (2005, 94th position)
Why Sri Lanka needs reengineering?
Poor governance and corruption are major constrains to the economic development. Therefore corruption must be eradicated while poor governance should be reengineered with the help of new technologies.
Bribery increases the costs of government development programs and spawns projects of little economic merit. It has happened for many decades in the country as a result economic development was haphazard.
Corruption undermines revenue collection capacity, contributing to fiscal weaknesses and macro economic difficulties. As a result now Sri Lanka reached the level of Rs 4 trillion worth of massive outstanding loans by the government.Bribe taking is common by politicians, public officers specially at the Sri Lanka Custom and Inland Revenue Departments.
These malpractices must be rectified by introducing new technology immediately. Proper and intelligent use of Electronic Governance is the way to check the corruption while improving overall efficiency in the public sector. This has to be done in an unbiased manner but not the way that ICTA implemented the projects.
SWOT Analysis of Sri Lanka Strengths
- High inflow of foreign remittances
- High literacy rate
- High calibre workforce
- Best performing share market
- Sri Lankan Diaspora worldwide
- Best available climate without
- Massive amount of natural resources
- Eradication of LTTE terrorism
- Country without natural disasters
- High local and foreign debts
- High budget deficit
- High debt servicing cost
- Low productivity
- Unwanted bureaucracy, Political patronage
- Weak public sector management
- High cost of living
- Poor infrastructure facilities
- Mismatch of economy needs with youth talents
- Political mismanagement of economy
- Human right violations
- Inappropriate usage of funding on development
- Entertaining commercial loans on development projects
- Rs 900 million Mihin air wastage
- VAT scandals cost billions
- Petroleum Hedging cost billions
- IDPs problem still prevails
- Tsunami victims are still suffering
- Southern Expressway still an issue
- Under-paid public sector employees including academia.
- Booming tourism industry
- Booming construction industry
- Potential self sustained agriculture
- Financial sector rebound
- Import substitution oriented agro industrial policy
- Viable ICT destination
- Viable commercial center in Asia
- “Mathata Thitha” still to commit
- Next decade miracle by UPFA
- Good Governance and development by General Fonseka
- Statewide bribery, corruption and malpractices(health and education serious)
- Poor rule of law and justice
- Political worshipping of intellectuals
- Lack of free media
- Political distress even within the same party
- Loss- making public sector entities
- Poverty and unemployment
- No political will to eradicate corruption
- Huge corruption in health sector
- Politicians and henchmen get rich while ordinary people are getting poorer and poorer.
- Intellectuals, professionals and talented workforce migrating to developed world.
- Good governance, democracy, freedom of expression is limited to textbooks.
Few priorities must be addressed to foster growth in the country
- Eradication of statewide bribery, corruption and malpractices
- Eradication of unwanted bureauc racy, political patronage and ill-fated public sector management
- Match educated youths talents and skills with economy’s requirements
- Poster justice, rule of law, political harmony, human rights and free media
- Eradication of bureaucratic nepotism in public sector.
Where we want to be?
By 2020, Sri Lanka will become a developed nation. This will:
- employ the country’s available workforce
- ensure an ubiquitous, affordable, high quality widespread living standard,
- Attract Rs. 450 billion annually as FDI.
- Generate annual revenues of Rs 500 billion.
- Wise and more Investments in education
- Obtain local intellectuals and researchers’ service in country’s development
- Development of infrastructure facilities in a more transparent manner i.e. health, education, roads, electricity, telecom, transport etc.
- Increase funding on research and development
- Immediately implement computerized real-time information systems for the departments of Custom and Inland Revenue to overcome discrimination of business community from bribery and corruption
Grow SME businesses Recommendation:
= Double the output of ICT-skilled knowledge-workers through post-secondary education in the country.
= Doubling our output of graduates in computer, communications, mathematics, physics, and engineering fields, retraining others, and recruiting a comparable number from universities to make our goal of 50,000 knowledge-workers attainable by 2010.
- Increase awareness of ICT career options to develop a culture of knowledge-workers in Sri Lanka.
- Encourage more kindergarten to grade 12 students to consider careers in ICT.
- Recruit skilled workers from rural community. We need to make all Sri Lankans aware of the contributions that ICT can make to their quality of life and career.
Development of the country
- Ensure an open, fair, and competitive environment that supports and protects all types of citizenry but not political stooges.
- Continued economic advantage will be sustained by a vigorous ICT infrastructure that provides access to information, supports electronic governance, and provides access to services in lifelong learning, health, recreation, and business.
- Ensure that government programs, information services, and information systems are effective, electronically accessible, and make efficient use of shared infrastructure.
In this way, the government can demonstrate its endorsement and commitment to a culture of ICT use and good governance in Sri Lanka.