Friday, April 1, 2016

Foreign Direct Investment – a pipe dream for the next 5 years!

I fail to understand how our elected representatives continue to fool themselves and thereby the general public about the mirage that is foreign inward investment. In 2016, with the uncertainty of the economic climate around the world, the terror threats and the general uncertainty in interest rates, has meant a pause in risky investment strategies for investors who venture into new and mainly outside their home base investments.

Taking the case of Sri Lanka, the recent crises, with regards to the unstable currency and not knowing where it will end up, along with the ever mounting debt trap, the Govt. has not given any indication of solving, we are unlikely to have ANY noticeable FDIs for the foreseeable future.

This leaves only INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS with Government guarantees. It is NO secret that the Rajapakse administration, spent on infrastructure projects that HAVE NOT resulted in a return, therefore wasteful, and which has to be repaid by the people with NO corresponding payback. That means that the Rajapakse administration is culpable of a huge scam of treachery.

Sadly this Govt. thinking of two Coal Power plants, one in Sampur and another in Trincomalee have come to the conclusion that even borrowing to build them is the ONLY step to solve the power crisis. They are therefore open to the same allegation of treachery, as COAL POWER IS SO LAST CENTURY that most countries are gradually shutting off their power stations using coal! Even this looks like a scam at high cost using borrowed money at high interest that the citizenry will have to for 50 years to come, once all the decision makers are dead! Another act of treachery.

Why are we embracing a technology that has seen better days? It is time we go for broke, and embrace cutting edge technology that fossils in the CEB don’t even understand.

If tomorrow they announced that there is a 50% subsidy for the purchase of solar panels, within 6 months a substantial number of heavy domestic users will have a hybrid system, which will amount to a surplus of available power on the grid, reducing the need for additional power supplies at high costs. 

This will also delay the need for power stations period. The cost of the subside would be substantially less than the replacement cost of a power station, and has been the way the other Countries calculate cost benefit, and have ambitious plans to cut costs by giving away LED bulbs to encourage lower energy use.

Why does Sri Lanka not use internationally accepted methods of cutting the need for power generation, and instead want to expand capacity, on projects that merely line people's pockets, but which don't make economic sense nor carbon neutral.

Lets NOT waste time pretending to get FDI, and instead expend energy trying to reduce the wastage of Electricity and also reduce its use, and only go for renewable methods of power generation in future.    

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