Daily Mirror 21.09.12
Ever since the 1980s, with the advent of neo liberalism, our black money has grown fearlessly and freely
An Australian research had found that Sri Lanka’s black economy had grown fearlessly and freely since 1988, a senior minister said in Parliament yesterday.
Quoting this research covering 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said that the trend was alarming.
With the advent of neo liberalism, our black money has grown fearlessly and freely The minister who is also the chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) said that a new social class was emerging with such ill-gotten wealth.
“Ever since the 1980s, with the advent of neo liberalism, our black money has grown fearlessly and freely. It amounts to 50 percent of the gross domestic product now,” he said.
The minister also noted that this social class had been making inroads into politics, and that this was manifest during the election campaign.
“These elements are nothing but the products of the neo-liberal economy and the 1978 Constitution,” he said. Striking a note of criticism against the Bribery Commission, he said that it did not have necessary ‘skills or intelligence’ to tackle this problem.
“This has led to the degeneration of the political culture, the current state of immorality, indiscipline, crime, threats to the rule of law and religious strife. This growing disparity or inequality needs to be addressed with seriousness,” he said. Increasing direct taxes and combatting tax evasion were proposed by the minister as measures to counter this threat.