When the present government came to power in 2015 the country was in heavy debts and the economy was all jumbled up due to gross mismanagement of the economy; muddle caused by colossal amounts of money spent on many irregular projects such as the failed bid to hold the Commonwealth Games in Sri Lanka, the construction of the Mattala International Airport, Hambantota Port, Suriyawewa Cricket Stadium and highways in Hambantota, the financial mismanagement of Sri Lankan Airlines and the construction of the Presidential super luxury abode built in Kankesanthurai. Thus the country’s economy was not out of the woods at the time the last presidential election was held five years ago.
Today as the country heads for the next presidential election, the economy appears to be moving into a stable zone due to sound fiscal policies introduced by the UNF government over the past few years. As much of the current government borrowings in the past four years was used by the government to settle overdue on loans obtained at high interest rates for the said past various irregular projects amounting to SLR 140 billion. Thus the government with prudent and systematic fiscal management has repaid all loan installments and interests due in 2019, which adds up to USD 4,200 million, said to be the highest ever debt repayment in the country’s history.
The irony of it all is in spite of all this the UNF Government is not given due credit for stabilizing the economy for it has been able to turn around the country’s economy without unnecessarily burdening the ordinary people. This was achieved at a time changes are taking place exponentially on the global economy and despite constant stiff opposition to unsettle the government in and out of parliament. In addition the government had to face many setbacks due to the Central Bank Bond scam, formation of the joint opposition in parliament, the 52-day political coup last year, the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks this year and the agony of having to dispose tons of accumulated waste in severe droughts and floods all in the past four years of negative peace.