Jan 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe warns that the country slowly recovering from the economic crisis will fall into a crisis again similar to the situation last year, if the economic and agricultural programs implemented by the government and the debt restructuring program according to the IMF are disrupted.
“If we move away from these programs, the country will return to the situation it was in May, June and July last year. If that happens, we will have to face another crisis,” the President said speaking at an event in Anuradhapura.
The President was speaking at a ceremony held this evening (Jan 28) at Sri Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura‘ to present Aktha Pathra’ (credentials) to the new Atamasthanadhipathi, Most Ven. Dr. Pallegama Hemarathana Nayaka Thero.
The President said his aim is to build a debt-free economy in the next 05-10 years where people can live with pride dignity without bowing down to anyone just as a strong economy was built in the Anuradhapura era.
Speaking about the new taxes, the President pointed out that tax concessions granted in 2020, which reduced the 1.6 million income tax, VAT and national development tax files that existed in 2019 to around 400,000 and reduced the government revenues, was the main cause for the economic crisis.
The Head of State said the economic growth rate which was negative 11% in 2022 may be negative 3.5 or negative 4.0% this year and pledged to lead the country's economy to positive growth from the year 2024.
The President also mentioned that if the income situation of the country stabilizes and there is economic progress, in the third quarter of this year, the government expects to give more allowance to all government employees in the third quarter of this year as a relief.