Dependent political culture must change - Eran

State Finance Minister Eran Wickremaratne said the tradition of running behind politicians for government jobs should change.

He said the Government has already taken the lead in driving this change in mindset to enable Sri Lankan youth to be self-reliant by introducing programmes like Enterprise Sri Lanka.

“This happens only in Sri Lanka. A dependent political culture like this had been created by leaders who ruled the country during the past 70 years. But we are not ready to continue this,” he said.

Wickremaratne further stressed the importance of giving due respect for entrepreneurs as in the case of professionals.

He said that the government had taken a number of measures to assist Sri Lankan youth to be entrepreneurs.

A large number of low interest and interest free loan schemes such as Govi Navodaya and Riya Shakthi have been introduced by the government.

Under the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme entrepreneurs have been able to obtain low interest loans from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75 million.

“Today, we have 230,000 entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka and they account for 2.8% of the total workforce. In Vietnam you have 19.6% and in Thailand there are 28.5% entrepreneurs. But larger countries such as Bangladesh there are 11.6% and China has 7.5% entrepreneurs. We need to encourage entrepreneurship,” he added.

The State Minister said that the government has also implemented Gamperaliya, massive development drive to enhance rural infrastructure facilities to uplift the rural economy of the country.

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