Colombo: President Ranil Wickremesinghe has acknowledged that there was no point in economic reforms in Sri Lanka because the cash-starved island nation didn’t have an economy, as he made a strong pitch for a new economic model.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948, triggered by a severe paucity of foreign exchange reserves.
In mid-April, Sri Lanka declared its international debt default due to the forex crisis.
As Sri Lanka’s economy went into a perpetual tailspin in recent times, Wickremesinghe acknowledged that economic reforms were not the antidote for the current malaise.
“What is the plan for reform? Frankly, I have no plan for it. What reforms when we don’t have an economy,” the Daily Lanka Mirror newspaper quoted Ranil Wickremesinghe as saying.
The current economy is not worth reforming because it is so fragile that it will crumble again, the report quoted him as saying.
“Our trade balance is not in our favor. So are we going to rebuild the same structure and come down again much faster? Therefore I thought it’s not worth reforming it,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
Bolstering the foreign exchange reserves would be the key reform goal for our government, Ranil Wickremesinghe said, adding that developing Sri Lanka as a logistics center was also the need of the hour.
Colombo seeks to secure the release of a $2.9 billion rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was announced in September. For this to happen, Sri Lanka must restructure its debt.