THE ROLE OF THE STATE OF SRI LANKA IN THE CONTEXT OF SELECTED ASIAN COUNTRIES
In 1960, Sri Lanka had roughly the same income per capita as South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. Three decades later, per capita incomes of the latter three countries were respectively several times higher than Sri Lanka’s. Also, these countries are now pro-ceeding well with macroeconomic management, good governance, and are getting gradually free from corruption.This paper is to analyze the economic per-formance of the state of Sri Lanka, in the light of time series data. It compares the economic contribution made by the Sri Lankan state with that of some other countries including the three above. Findings show that, after 1960, Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia indi-vidually maintained the rule of law, controlled inﬂation well, provided basic social services efﬁciently, con-trolled corruption, improved the quality of governance, reduced the size of the public sector and eradicated poverty. In contrast, even though Sri Lanka embraced the ideal and accepted organs of the role of the state and achieved some macroeconomic goals, there are a lot of failures. These include an inadequate legal framework and indolent enforcement of law, inade-quate provision of infrastructure, insufﬁcient control of monopoly, lack of control of inﬂation, inequality in in-come distribution, stagnation of privatization, less de-gree of decentralization, less quality of governance, the prevalence of corruption, an oversized public sector, and the pervasiveness of poverty. India and Pakistan have also had more success than Sri Lanka. The paper makes suggestions for developing countries to better understand and perform the proper role of the state.
Keywords: Decentralization, Public Sector Size, Quality of the Governance, Role of the State.
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