Last Updated : 2019-07-16 00:20:00

Dr. De Silva pulls out from Investors’ Forum in London

30 September 2018 10:40 pm - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr Harsha de Silva has pulled out from speaking at an Investors’ Forum to be held in at the London Stock Exchange on October 8, in a move to help cut the demand at the margin in the face of rapid rupee depreciation.

When contacted, the State Minister said he was supposed to speak at the London Stock Exchange next week in an Investors Forum.

“But I pulled out and declined to go because I wanted to do whatever I can, from my end, to help manage the current situation. There are other officials going and they can fill my void,” he said.

When asked about the Finance Ministry’s decision to take a number of temporary measures to ease the pressure on the Sri Lankan rupee, he said this was what he also said in his recent Facebook post.

He said he simply requested those who can, to take temporary measures to ease the situation and not to prevent measures altogether.

“Not only Sri Lanka, other countries have also taken such measure to deal with the situation. Even the US, when it was facing the financial meltdown some years ago, took measures on a temporary basis. The US Government stepped in and in some cases, took over some of the private companies. Today, India has taken such measures, Malaysia too,” he said.

He commended Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera for the temporary steps he has taken instead of putting up taxes on the imports.

“Minister Samaraweera has balanced a difficult situation. We need to liberalize the economy by removing para-tariffs and various non-tariff barriers. From the last year budget, para-tariffs of about 1,000 items were removed and many more to be removed in this budget. Instead of imposing these tariffs, what he has done is found a way to temporary reduce the demand by bringing in measures which he can put and take off as soon as possible without upsetting the liberalization process. The key point is that the liberalization process continues. Given this temporary sudden situation which has arisen due to external factors, the minister has decided to do this,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said he will push for his view on letting the overnight rate rise in order to deal with the situation.

“If we let the overnight rate rise at the Central Bank, there will be an across the board dampening of demand on imports. That also should come in now in order to deal with this temporarily. Our exports should be increased in order to come out of this issue. Because of falling exports and the inability to earn dollars to pay for our increasing imports, we have got into large foreign debts. Now we have to pay this US dollar debt for the next years, essentially due to the high cost payments of the international sovereign bonds issued by the previous government,” he said.

Commenting on the upcoming tourist season, Dr. De Silva said we should seize the opportunity to increase the influx of US dollars.

“In a very short time, the tourist season is coming up. Everybody is talking about Sri Lankan tourism. We have to expand services and we must take the opportunity to increase the expenditure of arriving tourists,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

  Comments - 16

  • Investor Monday, 01 October 2018 08:39 AM

    Ideal time for investors to bring in $ to get more LKR.

    Rohitha Monday, 01 October 2018 08:47 AM

    A right move at the right time. Hats off to you mister minister for setting an example.

    Ram Monday, 01 October 2018 09:14 AM

    Seriously ???...he pulled out because he cannot face the forum to speak about Investing....given the dire state they have put Sri Lanka into. What FDI has the current government brought in ? "ZERO", so what is there to address ??

    willwosd Monday, 01 October 2018 08:53 AM

    You have no clue how to answer the questions?

    fareed Monday, 01 October 2018 09:28 AM

    Neither you have one or anyone else.

    Kingsley Wijesinhe Monday, 01 October 2018 09:14 AM

    The temporary ban on importing motor vehicles on duty free permits is a welcome move, but there is a rumour that MPs will not be affected as they have already imported vehicles on their permits. If this is true, saying that MP's permits will not be issued for one year is another attempt to fool the public,

    Indyd Monday, 01 October 2018 09:19 AM

    Good move minister. You would struggle for sure. Why do you need to put your self like this. Just enjoy the journey and perks you have at the meoment.

    fareed Monday, 01 October 2018 09:27 AM

    It is like swimming against the tide. There is no magic wand to change this condition as US dollar is going through the roof and sanction on Iran and US interest rate hike.

    Dee Monday, 01 October 2018 09:27 AM

    Send in Mr. 2500/- or Mr. Foreign Conspiracy. They know best about economics. Also supported by late economic adviser.

    Thanos Monday, 01 October 2018 09:31 AM

    Dr. Harsha De Silva should be the Finance minister and not the current man. At least he has a Ph.D. in economics.

    DJ Monday, 01 October 2018 10:06 AM

    Dear Minister as much as it is difficult to deal with the present crisis. This govt., failed to attract proper investment and could not retain the existing investor's. The main reason is huge curruption in the present govt., too. Take a look how Malik S, Sujeeva S and many officials dealing in investment are behaving. You will know why good investors turn away due to commission request. Furthermore this govt., could not get a big crook of the previous regime still. Think about it Mr. Minister

    Dhammika Monday, 01 October 2018 10:08 AM

    EXCELLENT DECISION . Dr . Harsha is following the foot steps of Dr . Mahthir of Malaysia . In 1988 when the commonwealth Head of state meeting was held in Melbourne , Australia it was only Dr . Mahathir who was absent . When asked why his reply was ITS BETTER TO BE AT HOME AND DO SOME PRODUCTIVE WORK THAN GO ABROAD AND TALK A LOT OF BULL SHIT AND DOING NOTHING .

    chandu Monday, 01 October 2018 10:36 AM

    Take tuition from MR

    ase Monday, 01 October 2018 11:05 AM

    looks like at the moment Sira hits the top.

    Lord Wolfstein Monday, 01 October 2018 11:10 AM

    The registration for export of goods at customs should be abolished. It took me 2 weeks to complete the registration. I needed documents from the District Secretariat, the Police, the Inland Revenue Department, the Grama Niladhari, the Landmark Registrar and the CEB. If the country so badly needs foreign currency, these hurdles must be abolished.

    Sira Monday, 01 October 2018 12:13 PM

    Please forward your comment to move Harsha dear Silva on Twitter or Facebook..he would consider if it's under his purview


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