Economic crisis will remain in Sri Lanka for one more year: President Wickremesinghe
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the economic crisis in the country will continue for the next one year. To revive the bankrupt economy of the country, one has to think out-of-the-box and focus on new areas like logistics and nuclear energy, he said. Addressing a two-day conference ‘Let’s reset Sri Lanka’ on Friday, Wickremesinghe said more taxation is necessary for the country’s reforms.
Wickremesinghe said, ‘For the next six months to a year, I think, by July next year, we will have to go through tough times.’ He said that for recovery, Sri Lanka will have to focus on new areas like logistics and nuclear energy.
Logistics has a major role in the economy
“I believe a lot in logistics,” the Sri Lankan president said, referring to the island nation’s two main ports. If you look at the growth of the Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani economies, here in Colombo, Hambantota and Trincomalee, logistics can play a big role. In this way we can use our strategic position.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. The export industry is badly affected by the shortage of fuel due to the foreign exchange crisis. The tourism industry, which was the backbone of Sri Lanka’s economy, was initially hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic turmoil.
Wickremesinghe was elected President by Parliament last month. He will serve the remainder of the term of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country and resigned amid widespread government protests.
Will have to consider entering the nuclear energy sector – Wickremesinghe
Wickremesinghe, who had earlier described Sri Lanka’s economy as bankrupt, said more taxation was necessary for economic recovery. The President also said that the country will have to consider entering the nuclear energy sector. “The more energy you have, the more you can sell to India,” he said. Also keep more and more renewable energy available. We have to think outside the box.
World Bank refused to help
After declaring an international debt default in April, Sri Lanka is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a possible bailout package.
The World Bank has refused to provide any assistance to Sri Lanka until the Comprehensive Economic Policy is in place.
Referring to the ongoing IMF bailout effort, Wickremesinghe said legal and technical advisors on debt restructuring are taking the work forward.
first six months will be difficult
Wickremesinghe said, ‘It will be a phase that we have not seen before. We have to look at both external debt and domestic debt. It will definitely be a tough time. The first six months will be tough.
More than 60 lakh people malnourished
He said that out of the 21 crore population of the country, more than 60 lakh people are malnourished. more and more unemployed. Additional funds are being set aside to support them.
political stability important
Referring to the months-long protests, Wickremesinghe said political stability was crucial to trigger necessary reforms. We have already seen the economic impact of this country in the form of oil shortages and inflation.