Saturday, January 30, 2016

A visionary statement for once by the Head of the Private Bus Owners association

I note that BUS GAMUNU said in yesterday’s paper, covered in both the English and Sinhala medium, not to reduce the price of fuel until the traffic problems are solved.

Why is this? The simple fact is that when this Govt. reduced the fuel prices immediately upon being elected, the usage went up so much, usage translates into more travel in proportion to the increased sales, and this immediately lead to huge traffic jams, and was the start of the terrible snarls which are now the order of the day.  

Worse, we expected oil import bill to fall with the huge reduction in the price of fuel, but it actually went up due to the surge in consumption, and in effect the amount of money spent on fuel did not even go down, dispelling the assumption that people will have MORE disposable income to do other things. Actually matters were made worse, and in hindsight it was the wrong thing to do, though tell that to the people.

If we did not reduce prices, we would be in a much healthier balance of payments position today, further the traffic jams would be loess and so less waste of time commuting. Then there will be les pollution, and less breathing related illnesses. The Government would have added billions into their coffers to reduce the budget deficit.

It is therefore very mischievous of AKD the leader of the JVP to demand an immediate price reduction, as it is only a political statement that will go against grain, of responsible fiscal management. It is time the Media expose this charlatan for what he really is, namely a mere opportunist, nothing more nothing less.

Once his true colors are exposed, we can return to the real world, and take the needed action to improve the economy and NOT to make it worsen, in the manner he is expecting.

Rhetoric being part of the Sri Lankan story is difficult to comprehend. It is time for the media to act responsibly just as the PM said in parliament. They are making statements that affect Sri Lanka adversely so it best that they even desist. Is this reporting irresponsibility due to ignorance or another agenda, which the PM seems to think it is part of the opposition plan to use the media as the whipping boy inflaming rational tensions the Govt. had hoped had been settled. Media MUST take their fair share of the responsibility in developing this Country, and to that end I hope first they understand where they err.    

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