‘Armed forces shouldnt get involved in private sector business’ | Daily News

‘Armed forces shouldnt get involved in private sector business’

The armed forces should never get involved in private sector business, said Michael Walker Chair of Economic Research, Fred McMahon speaking at the Advocata Economic Freedom Summit at Globe Towers yesterday.

“This has a real long term dangerous affect and it would have a major negative impact for the private sector.”

He was responding to Anushka Wijesinghe, Chief Economist at Ceylon Chamber of Commerce who pointed out that Sri Lankan Air Force is operating a domestic airline offering low fares and the airline operations is heavily subsidized. Due to this the private sector doesn’t have a level playing field. He also said that similarly the Sri Lanka Navy too is operating a whale watching service in Kalpitiya and in the South and this operation too is heavily subsidized.

He however said that both these services are very professionally done but no one would know if it’s the best service since they hardly have any local competitors.

Responding to this Minister of State for Finance Eran Wickramaratne said that the government is addressing this issue and he too feels that the state sector should move out of many operations where the private sector is involved.

He also said that plans are underway to build a second runway at Katunayake to be used as a domestic airport. “Today a passenger has to spend nearly 3 hours overland to travel to Ratmalana domestic airport to take a 40 minute flight.”

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