Consultations/Seminars on ‘Promoting Agrarian Reforms in Sri Lanka’ and ‘Budgetary Policies for Poverty Eradication in Sri Lanka’

IPS organized two Consultative Meetings on ‘Promoting Agrarian Reforms in Sri Lanka’ and ‘Budgetary Policies for Poverty Eradication in Sri Lanka’ on 7th and 8th April 2011, respectively, at the Main Conference Room at IPS.

These two Consultation Seminars were conducted by Prof. Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr Saman Kelegama, Executive Director IPS, and Prof. W.D. Lakshman, Chairman of the IPS chaired the two meetings, respectively.

These two Consultations in Sri Lanka were a part of the proposed work programmes by Prof. Rehman Sobhan on operationalizing policy recommendations originating from the study on ‘Challenging the Injustice of Poverty: Agendas for Inclusive Development in South Asia’. This proposed work programme tries to identify specific policies, projects and programmes for poverty eradication in South Asia, which can be taken up as pilot projects or designed as full-fledged policy proposals/programmes in each South Asian country. In addition, it tries to identify potential agents to implement pilot programmes and policy proposals and to discuss with government policymakers/government operational agencies/ NGOs, their willingness to initiate the pilots/programmes. Prof. Rehman Sobhan has identified an indicative list of policies, projects and programmes which will be explored during the course of work programme. Those are Promoting Agrarian Reforms, Enhancing the Market Power of the Excluded through Sharing in the Value Addition Process, Democratizing Education Opportunities, Budgetary Policies for Poverty Eradication, and Financial Policies for Poverty Eradication which are to be explored in each South Asian countries.

Two major objectives of Consultative Meetings in Sri Lanka were to explore the scope for establishing a Commission/Committee on Agrarian Reforms and a high powered civil society/government/academia based Task Force to prepare an Annual Report on the state of poverty eradication and the outcome and coverage of various programmes and policies targeted to serve the excluded. A number of participants from government agencies, the private sector and the academia participated in these two consultations.