Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed duties this morning as the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs at the Finance Ministry. Addressing the staff he emphasized the importance of implementing a programme that will bring benefits to people properly. The tax system should be made simply. Mr. Rajapaksa also said that though there is a need of collecting tax from local businessmen which should be implemented in a manner that they are not being exploited. They must be facilitated to increase their revenue to enable them to pay taxes. The Prime Minister also highlighted the need of a stability in economic policies. The monthly fuel price revising system should be stopped and alternative programme should be replaced it. We should make effort to attract more foreign investment while developing tourism industry and increasing export taking the international market demands into consideration. The Prime Minister requested the local businessmen to lead to achieve these goals for the benefit of the country.
He recollected that the previous regime was able to manage the economy properly despite the world economy was in a turmoil and prevalence of high oil prices. People were able to face economic issues successfully as programmes were implemented to increase the domestic production and to create income generating avenues for the people. The economic growth was above six percent. Several projects to improve infrastructure were successfully implemented. The Prime Minister also said that that the people who are responsible for delaying the holding of local government elections and provincial council elections are now voicing against the prorogment of parliament for few days. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa also denied the statement made by certain people that the country is moving towards a dictatorship.