Sept 26, Colombo: Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera states that the devaluation of Sri Lankan rupee is due to the trade war between China and the USA and not because of a weakness in the government's economic policy.
The Minister further said the Sri Lankan rupee has continued to fall in recent days and various people express various views according to their political vision about the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar.
"Some say that the rupee fell due to the wrong economic policies of this government. It is a totally false one. We know now that the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Tamp has taken many steps to strengthen the dollar. A huge tax was imposed on goods imported to U.S. from China. Now China and America have begun a cold war on trade."
"There is an old saying: "When developed countries catch a cold, small countries like us get pneumonia." Hence, the depreciation of the rupee is not due to the wrong economic policies of the government, but because of the impact of an international economic process," the Minister added.
"The devaluation of the rupee is not a matter for our country alone. The Indian rupee has depreciated by 12%, Pakistan's by 5.03% Singapore dollar by 2.41%, Philippine peso by 5.18%, Euro by 6.27% and Turkish Lira by 22.28%. However, people in those countries do not blame the government. They know it's not government's fault," Minister Amaraweera explained.
Minister Amaraweera expressed these views while addressing a meeting held at Beliatta recently. The meeting was held to welcome Attorney Upali Mohotti, the new SLFP organizer of the Beliatta electorate.
Speaking further, the Minister said "As the government, we took many steps to prevent the depreciation of the rupee in the future. This is why the import of vehicles was temporarily restricted. Also importation of non-essential goods should be halted at least temporarily then, we can save the foreign exchange earnings in our country. The government has now focused attention on this."
The Minister said the people need to understand the story behind the fall in the value of the rupee.