|Thursday, 3 July 2003|
by Ravi Ladduwahetty
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has told a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers last night that the Government should increase agricultural production to generate increased employment.
The Premier has given this directive in the light of the 5.5 percent economic growth in the first quarter of 2003, which he described as satisfactory, political sources told the Daily News last night.
Minister of Power and Energy Karu Jayasuriya, expressing satisfaction over the economic growth, said that efforts should be made by the commercial banks to slash their interest rates.
Finance Minister K.N. Choksy, replying to this request, said that the first round of discussions have been held with the commercial banks which have already reduced the interest rates on new loans and that there will be a further meeting to reduce the interest rates on the new loans.
The Prime Minister told Cabinet that the economy should be improved further so that it would enable the Government to provide a salary increase to Government servants at the end of the year, sources said.
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