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A timely alert against political uncertainty

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26th-Dec-2017       
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THE think tank South Asian Network on Economic Modelling has sounded the timely alert that the country's economy is posed to face danger from political uncertainty in 2018 - the election year to jeopardise economic growth. The signal is clearly directed to the country's political leadership and to the government in particular to run the nation in the run up to the next election to avoid the danger that the nation had witnessed from political volatility prior to, during and after the previous election in January 2014. It is enough to remind the business and economic players how such uncertainties may cause severe setback again to the nation.

The warning particularly pointed to the risk to private investment, slow down in productivity and exports, crunch in job market resulting from low local and foreign investment, low income generation activities and a slow down in the growth of the service sector to mention a few that may add to the uncertainties. The election year violence last time was totally devastating when transports were torched in road and highways, public and private properties were destroyed in cities and human lives were lost in a situation of utter lawlessness. The nation does not want to see such developments once again. All players must be sensible from now to mould their policies and action in a way to avoid such mishaps.  

We believe every body has the responsibility to avoid such uncertainly, but the government in particular has the bigger responsibility to avoid it by arranging elections to be inclusive with participation by all political parties. So it must resolve election time government issue right now before it becomes the biggest bottleneck to make the situation volatile before election. The government should also bring necessary reforms in the Election Commission so that it can independently run the election with active support of the Law Enforcing Agencies so that no unruly elements will be able to rig the election.

We know some bureaucrats turned political advisers and other fortune seekers in the government are in the waiting to mislead the election environment to create the political uncertainty for their advantage. It includes election without contest. Reports said prior to last election capital flight had assumed unprecedented dimension when from $7 billion to $9 billion were moved out of the country in one year. Over $79 billion were siphoned in ten years up to 2013. Money launderers may target the poor law and order situation prior to the election again.

All banks are already facing severe liquidity crisis because many owners of private banks have siphoned bigger part of their funds against fake loans and it will not be wrong to suggest they may move out more money this time blaming political uncertainty. We can't allow the situation to go in the wrong direction to ensure stability to the nation and save its scarce resources.  


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