Delivering a keynote speech at the Press Club Event under the theme “State of the Economy and Talks with the IMF”, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said that Sri Lanka is going through one of the worst economic crises ever since Independence, resulting in widespread social unrest.
The event was organized by the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) while the discussion was moderated by The Sunday Times Business Editor Mr. Feizal Samath, and the opening remarks were delivered by the SLPI Chairman Mr. Kumar Nadesan.
Providing an overview of the financial situation at hand, Dr. Weerasinghe opined that some of the key issues faced by Sri Lanka as at present include the balance of payments and the foreign exchange crisis.
“One of the major issues that we face now is the foreign exchange crisis where the level of available liquid reserves is not sufficient to finance even a week’s worth of imports at present. Sri Lanka’s debt obligations at present stand at $ 6 billion per year, which has to be paid for the next several years, while the current reserves stand at much less.” The Governor emphasized that the current focus of the CBSL is to ensure that essential commodities can be supplied uninterrupted until the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme is finalized.
He further said that it would take another six to seven months for the economy to be stabilized
given that the IMF programme is achieved. “Even in this case the inflation rate will stand
between 30-40% which the CBSL will not be able to bring down. As a result the poor will be
more affected with more people falling below the poverty line.”
The Press Club Event concluded after an interactive session with participants where he elaborated further on the economic crisis answering questions from the audience. The event was attended by senior journalists, diplomats and experts.
Press Club Event මහබැංකු අධිපති ආචාර්ය පී. නන්දලාල් වීරසිංහ මැයි 23 වන සඳුදා, 2022 හිල්ටන් හෝටලයේ, the Blue ශාලාවේදී ‘මෙරට ආර්ථිකයේ තත්ත්වය සහ ජාත්යන්තර මූල්ය අරමුදලේ (IMF) ප්රවේශය’