The Government is targeting bringing down the inflation rate to 9 per cent while retaining economic growth at 7.5 per cent in 2007, Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara said.
`Inflation should be eliminated. The Government has to bring inflation down. The budget is the vehicle driving the whole process. The reflections of the Government should be shared with the public,` he told a seminar on Budget Proposals 2007 organised by the Inland Revenue Department on Friday.
Dr. Jayasundara said the Government is committed to take development to the village. `We have around 300 Divisional Secretaries. Through their activities lagging industries can be developed,` he said.
`We have a diverse private sector. We are in a post-tsunami era. We have to rebuild what we lost not only in the affected coastal belt but also in the rest of the economy,` Jayasundara said.
He added that high oil prices affected the Sri Lankan economy. `High oil prices is another issue that we had to deal with. We are still going through the discomfort of it. The expenditure on security has increased because of the conflict. Our development partners are ready to start many projects if there is no violence,` Jayasundara said.
He pointed out that agricultural development cannot be reached without a new cost structure. `There is no point in spurring agricultural development without setting prices in the right direction.
The upcountry livestock sector is expanding. Our farmers can enter a commercial market,` he said.
`There are unused infrastructure facilities. We are looking at some existing factories which are not functioning. With a little expenditure, the rural economy can be restructured,` Jayasundara explained.