Thursday, 01 January 2015 - 15:09
The Stance of State Banking Professionals on the Upcoming Presidential Elections in 2015

The banking sector has always played a pivotal role in developing the country’s economy. Institutions such as the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the Bank of Ceylon, the People’s Bank and the National Savings Bank along with other private banks, have done a tremendous service to uplift the economy of Sri Lanka. The workforce of these banks now exceeds 30,000 and the success of the sector can be attributed to the dedication of experienced state banking professionals as well as the Government of Sri Lanka.

Every bank in the last ten years has recorded a profit of at least ten percent and this has contributed to the country maintaining an economic growth of eight percent.

Ensuring the steady economic growth of the country over the next five years:

1. The people of Sri Lanka benefit greatly from the political stability of the country and its economic growth of eight percent. By partnering with more international banks in the upcoming years, the banking sector will be strengthened and both state and private banking institutions will reap greater financial benefits.

2.       The Mahinda Chinthana that is renowned across Sri Lanka is now acknowledged on a global scale and is recognized by international financial organizations as well. Due to this, the local banking sector has received international support, local banks are able to get funding and they are also able to provide financial concessions to create a new culture of productivity throughout the country.

3.       From 2005 – 2014 the development of roads, expressways, transportation, banking, harbours, electricity, aviation, water, energy and human resources has been a priority and 90 percent of all proposed projects have been completed. Based on this, Sri Lanka’s culture of productivity has increased and has significantly contributed to the country’s economic growth of ten percent. .

4.       The tourism industry and the Port City Project have created many job opportunities and have reduced the nation’s brain drain securing high-paying jobs for the future generation.

5.       According to the budget for 2015, the people’s economic strength is increasing and families will be able to benefit from greater wealth and prosperity.

6.       In 1996 under the leadership of Chandrika Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga, pensions were cut however President Mahinda Rajapaksa restored pensions with conditions. Based on the recommendations of our associations the Mahinda Chinthana: Lowa Dinana Maga Manifesto promises to provide attractive pension schemes without conditions to Central Bank employees and other state officials in the banking sector. It is also guaranteed that thousands of Sri Lankans will benefit from efficient banking services, lower interest rates and capital savings. Additionally both the people of Sri Lanka and many business enterprises will benefit from state protection.

The re-privatization of the banking sector:

Following a recommendation from the World Bank, the UNP made the decision to privatize key state institutions.   In 1990, the UNP carried out the ‘Regaining Sri Lanka’ programme and laid the foundation to begin the privatization process. In 2005, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected, he stopped the privatization of the banking sector in order to preserve it and ensure its continued growth. The Sri Lankan people were provided with efficient banking services, low interest rates on loans and greater security for their savings and jobs in the private sector. As a result of this, the values of a democratic state were further established.

However Maithripala Sirisena, the Opposition Candidate has discussed the Singaporean Temasek Holdings model in his manifesto and will reintroduce the privatization of state banks and institutions. As a result of this, the recruitment of employees for the banking sector will be limited. Due to the potentially detrimental impact of these policies, the state banking professionals of Sri Lanka do not support the Opposition Candidate’s proposals.

The state banking professionals of Sri Lanka believe that the Opposition Candidate’s economic policies are not suitable for the Sri Lankan economy, and would contribute to the instability of the political and economic landscape of the country. These policies will also hinder the rapid development that the country is currently benefiting from.

The Mahinda Chinthana brought about the end of a 30 year war, ensured the development of the nation and helped Sri Lanka become the ‘Wonder of Asia’. The state banking professionals request that the people of Sri Lanka re-elect Mahinda Rajapaksa to the post of President, so that he may continue to develop Sri Lanka.
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