Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to present roadmap for economic recovery
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would soon present to Parliament a roadmap to overcome the current economic crisis which has led to a severe shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and fuel in the indebted island nation.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said on Thursday the roadmap will be finalized after collecting proposals and suggestions from MPs he met on Wednesday to discuss the country’s worst economic crisis.
The Prime Minister met with MPs to update them on the current economic situation. Finance Ministry Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena led the presentation with a breakdown of the current economic crisis and the government’s short and medium term goals.
Following the presentation, a discussion took place with MPs on possible methods that could be used to mitigate the economic catastrophe, the Colombo Page news portal reported, citing the Prime Minister’s Media Division.
Sri Lanka is currently facing its worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948.
The economic crisis has caused severe shortages of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas, fuel and toilet paper, with Sri Lankans forced to queue for hours outside shops to buy fuel and cooking gas.
Agitated by waiting long hours in fuel lines, Sri Lankans have blocked roads in protest in many areas. The lack of fuel has crippled public transport services by more than 50%, according to the National Transport Commission.
Addressing Parliament recently, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka will need $5 billion to ensure that people’s daily lives are not disrupted for the next six months.
The country on the verge of bankruptcy, with an acute currency crisis that led to a default on external debt payments, announced in April that it was suspending the repayment of nearly $7 billion in external debt due for this year on approximately $25 billion due through 2026.
Sri Lanka’s total external debt stands at $51 billion.
Sri Lanka is awaiting official confirmation from India on a new line of credit that would see the cash-strapped nation stock up on gasoline and diesel for the next four months, the minister said on Friday. Kanchana Wijesekara energy.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said a new line of credit provided by India would support the cash-strapped island nation’s fuel purchase for another four months from July, even as a LPG shipment of 3,500 MT reached Sri Lanka.
(With PTI inputs)