Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana yesterday said in order to recover the country from the economic crisis, efforts should be made to limit the expenses and increase the income using new tactics and strategies.

The Minister was speaking during the launch of a new bus to operate from the Mattegoda, Kudamaduwa area, acquired under the Indian credit line to enhance public transport in rural areas. The new bus will be operate from the Kesbewa depot on the from Mattegoda to Kudamaduwa, Polgasowita and Piliyandala.

The Minister speaking at the event said “in the current situation, it is very difficult for the people to use private transport modes at a big cost. As the Minister in charge, I know people in every area are facing difficulties due to transportation difficulties”.

“When I took over the responsibility of the Ministry, SLTB had become a loss-making institution. The main reason was the financial irregularities and frauds carried out by a handful of people. A large number of people had to be suspended due to the ongoing investigations.

As of last week, we had to disband the SLTB flying squad due to confirmation of information that it was involved in frauds”.

“Currently, the SLTB is being revamped according to a new system with the contribution of the current chairman and other officials. By 2025, we must make SLTB profitable.”.

The purpose of getting 500 new buses under the Indian loan scheme is also an effort in this direction”.

“Throughout history, there has been no Government that has not borrowed from foreign countries. Most of the development activities carried out in the country have been done with foreign loans obtained in this way”. The amount of tax revenue collected from the people was only to pay salaries, pensions, subsidies and loan interest. In the end, the country was unable to pay the loans taken after the Covid epidemic, the Easter attack and other situations. Due to this, the people had to face situations like fuel gas queues, electricity restrictions”.

“Even though the crisis has subsided, it has not been completely resolved. No matter who is in power, we should have a plan to pay this debt for another twenty or twenty-five years. An economic solution is needed for this economic problem. We should work for a program to limit the expenses and increase the income by using new tactics and strategies” he said..