Sri Lanka Progress – By Dr Harold Gunatillake
Protest marches are a daily occurrence Gota, Ranil, and others working with consistence
*Colombo has taken steps to raise taxes, put state assets on sale and pledged to slash spending to the “bare bones”.
*Sri Lanka makes progress toward IMF support – but no bailout package Support through Extended Fund Facility (EFF) is possible
Nandalal Weerasinghe was appointed CBSL Governor for Six more years.
The International Monetary Fund has ended talks with Sri Lanka, failing to conclude a deal for a bailout package for the near-bankrupt nation after ten days. The IMF has said Sri Lanka needs to whittle down existing debt to ‘sustainable’ levels before receiving any aid.
“The discussions will continue virtually to reach a staff-level agreement on the EFF arrangement in the near term,” the IMF said, referring to the credit arrangement, called an extended fund facility.
“IMF support will help Sri Lanka get commitments from creditors. The government has made a lot of progress on things which are generally supposed to be in favour of an IMF staff-level agreement,” The team had constructive and productive discussions with the Sri Lankan authorities on economic policies and reforms to be supported by an IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement.
The EFF was established to assist countries experiencing severe payment imbalances because of structural impediments or slow growth and an inherently weak balancehttps://youtu.be/iXJ7WH7p52Y Website: www.Doctorharold.com of-payments position. An EFF supports comprehensive programs, including the policies needed to correct structural imbalances over an extended period.
Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe was appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank for the next six years by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday. Dr Weerasinghe is a career central banker with extensive experience in Monetary
and Exchange Rate Policy.
Dr Weerasinghe was promoted as Deputy Governor on 27 September 2011 while serving as an Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund and assumed office as Deputy Governor of the CBSL on 01 September 2012.
Our forward march- positive steps taken
a) Sharp increase in interest rates to combat inflation and dampen demand locally and for imports.
b) Removing the cap on Treasury bill rates allows the interest rates to be marketbased.
c) Restrictions on Open Account trading instilling financial discipline, thereby discouraging the grey market.
d) Removing the fix on the exchange rate and once reaching a stable level allowed fluctuation within a specified band without letting it out of hand.
e) Tax increases and allowing price increases in fuel and gas.
f) Curb on government expenditure
Inflation hit a record high in June.
COLOMBO (News 1st); For the first time in history, this country’s rate of increase in commodity prices or inflation has exceeded 50 per cent. Sri Lanka’s inflation for June has been recorded at 54.6% this month.
The Department of Census and Statistics stated that food prices have increased by 80% this month. Prices of non-food items and services rose to 42.4%. As a result of the current fuel crisis, the rapid increase in vegetable prices has had a significant impact on this.
The increase in the prices of other food items, including rice, spices, and grains and the rise in fuel prices are also the leading causes of inflation this month.
Sri Lanka to lift the ban on the Qatar Charity.
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka has decided to lift the ban on the Qatar Charity. Qatar Charity is the primary charitable arm of the Qatar Government and was banned in Sri Lanka following various allegations.
Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera tweeted that he met with the officials of the Qatar Charity on Wednesday (29) and conveyed that the Defense Ministry has informed the Attorney General of its decision to lift the ban on the fund, which was imposed in 2019.
New Zealand to host Sri Lanka for a series in 2023
COLOMBO (News 1st); New Zealand Cricket has scheduled to host Sri Lanka for a sequel in 2023, and the schedule has been announced as follows;
Tour by Sri Lanka
March 9 – March 13, 1st Test; Hagley Oval, Christchurch
March 17 – March 21, 2nd Test; Basin Reserve, Wellington
March 25: 1st ODI; Eden Park, Auckland
March 28: 2nd ODI; Hagley Oval, Christchurch
March 31: 3rd ODI; Seddon Park, Hamilton
April 2: 1st T20; Eden Park, Auckland
April 5: 2nd T20; University of Otago Oval, Dunedin
April 8: 3rd T20; John Davies Oval, Queenstown
US Ambassador meets President
COLOMBO (News 1st); President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with the USA Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Julie J. Ching, today (30) and thanked the US for the valuable support shown during these difficult times. Further, the Ambassador assured the Government of the USA’s continuous support in stabilising the economy with the recent developments with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung told President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that the US would support Sri Lanka in finding a solution to the economic crisis. A high-level diplomatic delegation from the United States stated that the US supports strengthening the relationship with the International Monetary Fund. US President Joe Biden has also taken steps to provide humanitarian assistance on several occasions.
Lanka crisis exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine –
Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo David McKinnon has said that his government was funding procurement of medicine for Sri Lanka and urgently needed rice stocks for the school meals programme here.
He further said that the Lanka crisis was exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine In collaboration with the World Health Organization, we fund the procurement of essential medicines and supplies.
Japan denies report it ‘will not help Sri Lanka’
Japan’s embassy in Sri Lanka has denied reports that its ambassador told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that Tokyo would not be assisting Sri Lanka during its economic crisis following a visit to Jaffna this week.
The Daily Mirror reported this morning that “the risk of financial assistance to Sri Lanka being mismanaged,” Japan’s ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki told the TNA his government “will not support the country at this point”.
In an email from the Tamil Guardian, Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Prime Minister raised the news article to the Japanese embassy. In response, Deputy Ambassador Kotaro Katsuki said the article “has no grounds whatsoever,” adding that “our ambassador would never say such a thing”.
Japan ready to provide continuous support to Sri Lanka, says Japanese envoy will
Colombo, July 1 (news in. Asia): The Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mizukoshi Hideaki, said that Japan is ready to provide continuous support to Sri Lanka while strengthening relations between the two countries for Sri Lanka’s economic programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the development activities of the country.
These remarks were made when the Japanese Ambassador met with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Colombo today.
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will allow companies from oil-producing countries to import and sell fuel. ..
Sri Lanka will allow companies from oil-producing countries to import and sell fuel, the power and energy minister said, ending a duopoly as it tries to overcome its shortage.
The state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation controls 80% of the fuel market, and Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation, the rest.
The Proposed Lankan constitutional amendment lets President Gotabaya off the hook
Colombo July 1 (Counterpoint): The Gazetted draft of the 22 nd. Amendment (22A) of the Sri Lankan constitution, which will be presented to parliament in the coming week, is a compromise between the interests of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. It is also designed to maintain the stability needed to tide over the current economic crisis and to avoid a referendum. Hope this video presentation provided you with some current happenings in Sri Lanka for a better future.
Stay safe and goodbye for now.
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