Sri Lankan PM must present fiscal consolidation plan and opt for public enterprise reform: opposition MP

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe must present a fiscal consolidation plan that prioritizes transparent reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and also includes a social safety net, opposition MP Harsha from Silva after meeting with a delegation from the U.S. Treasury and State Department.

The main opposition parliamentarian Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) tweeted on Wednesday June 29 that the reforms must be done with the support of the public.

Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis is “quite complicated. The coming months will be very difficult,” he said.

The tweets came after a meeting with a delegation from the US Treasury and State Department, followed by a meeting with a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) currently in Sri Lanka to discuss a possible bailout.

Sri Lanka is going through its worst currency crisis since independence, leading to unprecedented shortages and price hikes which in turn have sparked massive protests against the government.

Opposition and SJB leader Sajith Premadasa and SJB MPs Eran Wickramaratne and Kabir Hashim also attended discussions with the US delegation and IMF team, de Silva said.

He tweeted that the IMF could not lend to Sri Lanka until the island nation’s creditors gave assurances on their debt restructuring deal, which he said is now complicated by a filing. filed by a creditor.

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Any haircuts from creditors, de Silva said, will be based on a fiscal consolidation deal by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government.

“As a responsible opposition, we agree that very overdue major reforms must be undertaken to save Sri Lanka. We need to open up, break the chains and engage with the world. So we don’t want to scuttle the [Rajapaksa-Wickremesinghe] to plan; but there must be one. Already very late,” he tweeted.

The MP also complained that the government was not interested in helping the SJB.

However, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe called on the SJB to play an active role and lamented the party’s decision to boycott parliament last week.

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Sri Lankan PM wants opposition to cancel boycott to pursue reforms

(Colombo/June 30/2022)

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