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Sri Lanka PM must present fiscal consolidation plan, go for SOE reform: opposition MP

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe must present a fiscal consolidation plan prioritising the transparent reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and also provide for a social safety net, opposition MP Harsha de Silva said after meeting a US Treasury and State Department delegation.

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

Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic crisis is “utterly complicated. Coming months will be very tough,” he said.

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

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

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

He tweeted that the IMF can’t lend to Sri Lanka until the island nation’s creditors give an assurance on their agreement on debt restructuring, which he said is now complicated by a filed by one creditor.


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Any haircut on the part of the creditors, said de Silva, will be based on an agreement on fiscal consolidation by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

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

The MP also complained that the government was not interested in the SJB’s help.

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


Sri Lanka PM wants opposition to call off boycott to proceed with reforms


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