Time to practise frugality
Daily Mirror Editorial
Feb 20, 2011

The public never had much faith in the government or its economic policy-makers ; for the policies brought about by them often lacked sustainability and feasibility. With the devaluation of the rupee, a move that was said to encourage foreign investors, the public foresaw, and voiced their concerns on a possible rise in the cost of living. Yet, the socalled policy-makers who flapped their ears at such comments, thought, people’s concerns are due to their lack of knowledge on complicated economic theories. However, the latest turn of events tells us as to who was smarter.

No doubt, oil is a deciding factor in the world market. Hence, the fluctuation of oil prices directly affects every country that exports or imports oil. Sri Lanka can be no exception. Yet, the question arises as to why the policy-makers expose the public to these dire conditions, when it is their responsibility to look into damage control mechanisms to tone down the calamity. Is it because of their sheer heedlessness or are their boots too big for their feet?

If every move in the world market is going to decide the portion size of the common man’s daily plate of rice or his mode of transportation, the establishing of the government has not served its purpose. A responsible government cannot wipe their hands off the agonies of the people and blame everything on the world trends; for instance, every other country that imports oil does not suffer the same fate as Sri Lanka does. It is their resistive economic policies that make the country’s economy immune to the world market tides. Sadly for us, our notion of economic prosperity is all about introducing new and colorful currency notes and hosting pageantry right round the country to show that we are an economically prospering nation. Who are the cheaters and the cheated? How long will this farce continue to haunt the country’s economy that is in dire need of a proper foothold? The truth is that the government needs to seek a new monetary policy if not better policy-makers who have a more practical sense of monetary management. By allocating hard-earned public money according to the whims and fancies of the powers that be, the government is cheating on the people who elected them into power. At a time when traitors are separated from the patriots, the government needs to understand that, every move that is against the wish of the common man is an act of a traitor, even if it is committed by the government itself.

After all, people do not give the right to the government to allocate their money to maintain the state institutions incurring heavy losses nor do they encourage the rampant corruption in such establishments. Days would have been certainly brighter, had these white elephants been left to starve. And who knows, those who died fighting against the impunities might still be walking on the earth.

It has been a common practice that every time the cost of living hits the ceiling, people learn to live within their budgets. Their frugality certainly puts the government and its policy-makers to shame. The government’s responsibility right now, should be to show that it is a reflection of the aspirations of its people by emulating their way of doing things.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka