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* The old economic model is no longer viable, IMF proposals must be implemented - President
Fri, Aug 5, 2022, 10:22 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 05, Colombo: President Ranil Wickremesinghe says the old economic model can no longer be implemented adding that innovative thinking is required while paying attention to global changes.

Delivering the guest speech at a conference today (05) Mr. Wickramasinghe said proposals of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) must be implemented to recover from the economic crisis the country is facing, regardless of whether they are good or bad, and regardless of who likes them or not.

The conference has been organized by the Advocata Institute under the theme "LET’S RESET SRI LANKA" and it will be held today and tomorrow at the Lotus Hall of the Bandaranaike International Conference Hall.

“I don’t think there is any other way out…whether we like it or not we have to deal with the IMF,” Wickremesinghe said.

He said the whole parliament should agree with the IMF proposals and if any party opposes that they should present an alternative.

President Wickremesinghe said many hardships will have to be faced during the next six months.

“First of all, we need to make an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Second most important is getting a sustainable loan. It would be helpful if anyone has any suggestions on getting this loan. Of course I think we should listen to those proposals and Parliament can take a decision on these proposals. Changes in governments and public policies is a fundamental problem we have to face in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. We will definitely face difficulties in the next 6 months.”

The President said the country must first focus on foreign debt and must refrain from being caught up in geopolitics in the Asian region.

“The International Monetary Fund also acknowledges that attention should be paid to the people affected by the economic crisis. The country should focus on foreign debt first. Also, we have to move without getting caught up in the geopolitics of the Asian region.”

“We have a huge debt to pay. An export-oriented economy, the renewable energy sector, the use of atomic energy should be considered outside the traditional framework. The country’s future cannot be reorganized without developing the country’s economy. At present, the first task that Sri Lanka should do is to stabilize the Sri Lankan economy,” he said.

The Head of the State said the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ has grown in recent times. School education has been disrupted due to Covid and the fuel crisis. It should be restored soon.

President Wickremesinghe expressed the view that economic stability must be established first while subsequently ensuring social stability.

Modernization of agriculture and fisheries sector, use of new technology in production, mitigation of climate change, problems faced by women, housing needs of the people, poverty in rural areas should be given attention.

President Wickremesinghe added that trade relations must also be established with Asian countries with large growing markets. “We need to create a competitive economy with high wages and high productive capacity. We have to build trade relations with Asian countries with large growing markets. The current world economic situation is not favorable for any country.,” he said.

Dr. Veerathai Santiprubhop, the former head of the Bank of Thailand, also commented here and pointed out that there is no financial crisis in Sri Lanka as shown in the international media.

To recover from Thailand’s economic crisis, measures such as privatization of public institutions, protection of the most vulnerable people, institutional reforms, building credibility in the banking sector, including economic experts in the cabinet, dealing with the International Monetary Fund, amending the necessary laws, and seeking the assistance of foreign experts were taken, Dr. Santiprubhop said.

United National Party Chairman Member of Parliament Vajira Abeywardena, Samagi Jana Balawegaya MPs Dr. Harsha de Silva, Kabir Hashim, Mayantha Dissanayake and the President of Advocate Institute Mr. Murtaza Jafferjee were present.


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