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Sri Lanka’s SDG progress outperforms global average amid economic challenges – IPS

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Despite the numerous setbacks suffered by Sri Lanka during the past few years, it was still making progress, compared to the world average, in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a report titled ‘Public Investment for Closing the SDG Financing Gap: Sri Lankan Perspective’ released by Institute of Policy Studies Of Sri Lanka (IPS) has said.

The report says Sri Lanka needs additional investment of around 1.4 trillion U.S dollars or 12 percentage points of GDP in 2030 to fulfil the SDGs.

The author of the publication Lakmini Fernando said that prior to the pandemic Sri Lanka recorded an above the world average rate for SDG progress on the SDG Index. The world average at that period was 0.69 points while Sri Lanka was progressing at 0.72 points yearly.

“The post-pandemic SDG progress is lower and progress on the SDG Index has stagnated. However, Sri Lanka has a comparatively higher progress rate of 0.16 points a year, while on average lower-middle and upper-middle income countries record a very low progress rate of 0.09 points a year,” the report said.

The SDG Index is an assessment of each country’s overall performance on the 17 SDGs, giving equal weight to each Goal. The score signifies a country’s position between the worst possible outcome (score of 0) and the target (score of 100).

The report states that Sri Lanka was keenly poised for growth at the time of independence in 1948 and again with the major policy shift in 1977 from an inward-oriented and import-substitution to being outward-oriented and export promotion-based economy.

“However, Sri Lanka’s high pre-pandemic growth declined to a historically low level of -3.6% (negative) in 2020 (Figure 5). The traditional agricultural economy has leapfrogged into a service-oriented economy without considerable developments in the industrial sector, a major hindrance to the productive capacity of the economy (Figure 6). Policy inconsistencies and delayed implementation of necessary structural reforms have further deteriorated the economy,” the report says.

Except for during 1992-2000, Sri Lanka continues to suffer balance of payment (BOP) crises, IPS said. The country had 16 arrangements with the IMF and although a certain degree of cushioning the economy is witnessed, the conditionalities on structural reforms have never been completed. After several discussion rounds, the 17th bailout package was granted in March 2023.

“Sri Lanka’s high public expenditure needs are characterised by an ageing demographic profile. Debt stabilisation through building a primary surplus, credible fiscal policy conduct and domestic revenue mobilisation is crucial in the consolidation process. This needs to be further supported with non-debt creating foreign currency inflows to ensure fiscal sustainability,” the report read.



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“Operation ‘Yukthiya’ will persist despite pressure” – Minister of Public Security

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Minister of Public Security, Mr. Tiran Alles, attending a news conference held at the Presidential Media Centre today (21) under the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.emphasized his unwavering commitment to continue operations aimed at suppressing drugs, tackling the underworld and preventing violence against women and children, regardless of any pressure encountered.

Furthermore, Minister Alles disclosed that operation ‘Yukthiya’, which commenced on December 17, has resulted in the seizure of narcotics valued at Rs. 7.8 billion and assets including vehicles and buildings confiscated by law enforcement amount to Rs. 725 million. . A total of 58,562 raids have been conducted, leading to the arrest of 58,234 individuals involved in illicit activities.

 

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SLNS Samudura leaves for Maldives to take part in Exercise Dosti – XVI

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Sri Lanka Naval Ship (SLNS) Samudura left for the Maldives from the port of Colombo on Tuesday (20)  to take part in Exercise Dosti – XVI. The trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ is scheduled to be held in Male from 22nd to 25th February.

The trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ aims to enhance cooperation, strengthen friendship, improve mutual operational capability, and develop interoperability among the Coast Guard personnel of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

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“Sri Lankan unity paves the way for rapid national development” – President

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Sri Lanka’s Chief Scout, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his address at the 10th National Scout Jamboree held at the Koneswara Hindu Vidyalaya Stadium in Trincomalee this morning (21), underscored the potential of Sri Lankans to steer the nation towards rapid development and fortify its security for future generations through unified efforts.

The President highlighted that participation in the National Scout Jamboree transcends divisions of caste and religion. He articulated that unity among Sri Lankans, spanning from the North to the South and from Colombo to Trincomalee, is pivotal in accomplishing shared objectives.

President Wickremesinghe pledged his support for the expansion of the Scout Association, noting its role in nurturing responsible citizens essential for the country. Furthermore, he announced the plans to facilitate collaboration between the Scout Association and the Ministry of Technology, underscoring the importance of leveraging interactions across sectors for national development.

(PMD)

 

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