“Economic Policy in Sri Lanka: Issues and Debates”

Research team

Saman Kelegama
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0-7619-3278-X (Hb)

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This publication in honour of Dr. Gamani Corea, Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies and an eminent Sri Lankan Economist was edited by Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies .

It is a collection of essays on Sri Lankan economic policy issues and debates with contributions from specialists in the field, and published by Sage, New Delhi , India . and fills the existing void in the literature.

Table of Contents

  • List of Tables and Figures
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Development Strategy and Ideology
    Growth of Manufactured Exports and Terms of Trade: Pessimism Confounded (by Premachandra Athukorala); The Influence of Development Ideology in Macroeconomic Policy Reform Process (by Dushni Weerakoon); The Lessons of National Planning (by Godfrey Gunatilleke); Understanding Reform: 1960-2000 (by Lal Jayawardena); and The Importance of the Public Sector in Economic and Social Development (by J.B. Kelegama).
  • Part II: Macroeconomic Policy
    Current Fiscal Policy (by D.D. M. Waidyasekera); Public Debt: Institutional Issues (by Nihal Kappagoda); Exchange Rate (by Sisira Jayasuriya).
  • Part III: Agriculture, Industry and Technology Development
    Agricultural Development: Controversial Issues (by Nimal Sanderatne); Industrial Policy (by Sarath Rajapatirana); and Technology Development: Key Issues in Productivity (by Chandana Perera and Sarath Dassanayake).
  • Part IV: Employment and Labour
    Labour Productivity Growth and Employment Generation (by Ravi A. Yatawara); Youth Unemployment: An Exploratory Study (by W.D Lakshman); and Migration and Brain Drain (by R.B.M. Korale).
  • Part V: Institutional and Governance Issues
    Economic Liberalization and Institutional Reform (by David Dunham); Consumer Affairs Authority Act in the Overall Context of Competition Policy (by A.D.V. de S. Indraratna); Privatization and Regulation (by Malathy Knight-John); and Banking Sector Reform (by H.N.S. Karunatilake).
  • Part VI: Social Welfare
    The Colonial Lineages of the Welfare State (by Laksiri Jayasuriya); Overview of the Health Sector (by Amala de Silva); Public Investment in Education: Conceptual Foundations (by Harsha Athurupana); and Poverty Alleviation (by Buddhadasa Hewavitharana).
    The volume also contains a biographical sketch of Gamani Corea.

Reviews and Highlights in the media

Reviewed by Professor Indra Nath Mukherji

South Asian Survey, Vol (14), 2007 – The essays contained in this volume discuss the historical evolution of Sri Lanka’s social and economic policy and the ideology and debates governing it.

“Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Chandrasiri ”

Sunday Island, 1 May, 2005 – Economic policy has been a key topic of debate among economists, social scientists, policy makers, administrators, investors, donors and others interested in growth and development.

“Reviewed by C. T. Kurien ”

Frontline, Chennai, April 2005 – GAMINI COREA is one of Sri Lanka’s most outstanding economist-civil servants and has held many key positions in that country, as Secretary of the National Planning Council, Secretary of the Cabinet Planning Committee and Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank.

“Reviewed by Dr. H. N. S. Karunatilake”

Sunday Island, 21 November, 2004

“Reviewed by Meenakshi Iyer”

Hindustan Times, 31 January, 2005 – Decades of civil war, a massive left wing uprising in the 1980s, and now the tsunami — the Sri Lankan economy couldn’t have asked for more trouble.

Business World, 13 December, 2004 – THIS festschrift honours Gamani Corea, one of Sri Lanka’s top economists, and gives a thorough look at the state’s development and political ideology. Its 522 pages are simply crammed with information. Yet, it ignores the violent ethnic conflict- which is, in fact, its most remarkable aspect. Despite the troubles, Sri Lanka’s economic reform has continued, putting it streets ahead of its South Asian neighbours.
Hindustan Times, 2004 – The national planning exercise of the Sri Lankan economy was started in the early 1950s and the economic liberalisation.

The Economic Times , 28 November, 2004 – Gamani Corea was at the forefront of third-world anti-globalisers while at the helm of Unctad, or working within Sri Lanka’s policy-making apparatus. So it is to his credit that he has seen the writing on the wall since, and been assessing how to address the fallout of globalisation, now seen to be a fait accompli.