BY SANATH NANAYAKKARE
The priorities related to the institutional and legal framework of the Ministry of Finance have been amended via a government gazette issued on October 6, 2021, with the objective of achieving a faster economic growth post-pandemic.
As per the above gazette, twenty more special priorities and responsibilities have been added to the Finance Ministry.
Accordingly, the Finance Ministry, among other things will now implement reforms to strengthen banks, financial institutions in such a manner that would encourage savings and investments as well as institutional reforms to revive failed financial institutions and businesses.
It will also broaden and coordinate national development, financial and capital market programmes for development of agriculture, construction, information technology, small and medium enterprises, tourism and exports sectors.
The Finance Ministry is also tasked with strengthening the regulatory and reform activities of treasury bills, bonds and the primary markets.
Providing facilities required for international business giants to set up their head offices in Colombo and the Port City is another onus on the Finance Ministry.
Among other key priorities are: Reducing unemployment giving priority to low-income earners and increasing per capita income, ensuring price stability by maintaining annual average inflation rate at a low level, making the government bonds and stock market attractive to investors while stabilising the interest rates.
The Finance Ministry is also tasked with improving the Balance of Payment position in order to ensure that the exchange value of the rupee is maintained at a stable level.