While claiming that Sri Lanka will no longer be declared a bankrupt nation in the next few days, President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday expressed hope that once Sri Lanka entered into the agreement with the International Monitory Fund (IMF) the Rupee will gradually come down to 200 or 185.
"We will no longer be declared a bankrupt Nation, but a Nation that can restructure its debts.That will happen in the next few days. So like the Captain of the Royal Team, I also have to perform the same function. How do we turn this economy around? The results of the IMF Board of Directors only give us a breathing space where they will say that we are no longer bankrupt and we can restructure the debt. So all the money we have to pay this year, I hope we will be given at least ten more years to repay it," he said.
The President emphasized that the Royal College cricket team’s effective captaincy ultimately led to the team’s victory at a time when all the matches were being lost and that his effort is to lift the defeated country to the path of victory similar to what the captain of the Royal College cricket team did.
“The results of the IMF Board of Directors only give us a breathing space where they will say that we are no longer bankrupt and we can restructure the debt. So all the money we have to pay this year, I hope we will be given at least ten more years to repay it,” the President said.
"In the meantime, there will be new debts. We had to borrow money because all our foreign exchange earnings for a year are not sufficient to meet all our needs: to import fuel, and fertilizer, is not enough. So we have a balance of payment deficit where our foreign earnings are less than the money we have to spend for all our needs to purchase from abroad. So this is the long-term," the PMD statement quoting the President said.
"Secondly, how do we stabilize the Rupee? Compared to the Dollar the Rupee has now gone up to 300. Once we have this agreement with the IMF, the Rupee will gradually come down to 200 or 185. Now we have a period of stabilization and that is four years. We have agreed with the IMF, they have given us targets to achieve. We have agreed that the budget will not be a deficit and that the budget will have a surplus by 2026, and that we will then be able to pay back the money that we borrowed. Now that is not a very good situation," the President, quoted in the statement said.
Once we stabilize the economy and we can restructure the debts, we must also find means of paying off all our debts and coming into a situation where we have a surplus in the country; every year, like Japan, Singapore, Germany, or Korea. At the end of the day, we will have a surplus. Our foreign exchange earnings will exceed our requirements for the time being where we have to import fuel, medicine, and certain other basic foodstuff. So that is the next stage.
In order to win this match: this encounter, stabilizing the economy alone is not enough. You must make the economy grow. Unless you make the economy grow, we will go down again.
When I went to Royal Primary, We were the second most prosperous Nation in Asia. First Japan, second Sri Lanka. Today every other country has overtaken us. As far as I am concerned, we have not only to lay the groundwork but also to restructure our debt, to stabilize our economy, so that we can repay our debt in ten years’ time. In order to build the new economy in which we will be prosperous, and we will also be able to become a developed economy giving a better future for those who will be living in the next 40-50 years, I need a team. When I lay that plan down, I need a team for that match. That is going to be the big match. We have to decide whether we are going or make it, whether we are going to develop the country or whether we are going to let it slide. For that game who is my team? My team is going to be all of you. What we will lay down now, is the 25-year plan.
By 2049, we will be a prosperous Nation. We will be like the people in Malaysia, the people in some of the European countries. We will have no debt, and more than that, each of you will have earned at least a few thousand dollars a month or maybe more. Now I say, each of you because, during the next 25 years all of you; the oldest here will be 45. You will not even be 50. Some will be less. It is your future that we have to talk of. Unless I stabilize the economy, we cannot develop as a country to become a prosperous society. Once we stabilize the economy, we can go ahead to develop the country.
Some of you might be thinking of going abroad for education. I understand the difficulty of getting into universities here and the problems you face in the universities. Some of you might be thinking of going abroad and leaving Sri Lanka. Some of you may be thinking of going abroad to work and coming back. All I want to say to all those who are thinking of going abroad is not to abandon the country. In the next two years, you will see the country developing and then you will see that you have a future. Certainly, go out. Certainly study.
President Wickremesinghe made this statement while addressing the 32nd Interact District Conference held at Temple Trees last morning (19).
This conference was organized by St. Thomas’ College, Wesley College, Vishaka Vidyalaya, and Girls’ High School, Kandy, and it drew about 700 students from various schools all across the island.
ranjith kandage Monday, 20 March 2023 10:51 AM
Now he has forgotten Dasun Chanaka and now Royalist Capt.
johan Monday, 20 March 2023 10:54 AM
For how many weeks 185-200 will sustain?
Dame Edna Monday, 20 March 2023 11:10 AM
Why should SL no more be declared as bankrupt? Because it gets as a first tranche usd 390 million? SL is still declared as bankrupt because it has not paid back anything of its debt and think about the interest you have to pay. There are a lot of loans with 30 % interest to be paid. And again, as the SL Rupee is not tradable anywhere in the world, the CB of SL just fixes a price, they can not intervene in the market, nor will these peanuts of 390 million change anything. Face it people, Sri Lankans and the entire world is fooled again by a Sri Lankan government.
VJ Monday, 20 March 2023 11:19 AM
$2.9 billion divide into four years can bring this country out of bankruptcy ?
SCRanjithA Monday, 20 March 2023 11:47 AM
Dame Edna, please see the positive side of it. When IMF approves it's part of the loan the international community gets the message that we are credit worthy in spite of declaring bankruptcy in april 2023. Within a period 10 months drastic changes have taken place for revival. Hope SL will bounce back by end 2023.
lester Monday, 20 March 2023 11:47 AM
Keep taking more loans to artificially bring the rupee down. That's all you know.
Opg Monday, 20 March 2023 12:11 PM
The entire country has forgotten we still have loans go pay for China, india and Bangladesh. These were only deferred.... So what's the pampori about...... We are taking a IMF loan on top of this .... And this clown is saying we the usd will be go down..... First make the cost of living bearable
Gehan Monday, 20 March 2023 12:24 PM
So, the economic ponzi scheme continues with more debt to be added over and over again.
Suhada malli Monday, 20 March 2023 12:42 PM
Sir, What are the plans to create growth? Short Medium and Long Term plans? Also to avoid a budget deficit at the next budget do you have a plan? Please share them. We need to be convinced to support the effort otherwise you are (or were) a part of the problem in the last 75 years. You need to win the battered hearts of the middle class by sharing a plan of action and frequent progress reviews.
Rishan Monday, 20 March 2023 12:50 PM
Good news . We can expect Gas and fuel (petrol/diesel) will come below 200 as well and minimum bus fee will come to 10/- as well..
sam Monday, 20 March 2023 12:52 PM
Why 200 why not to double figures as it was about 3 decades ago.
gamarala Monday, 20 March 2023 01:27 PM
We have to consider the real situation. Could we attract foreign investment as president hope?. Will the investers tends to invest in this country that has no accountability, transparency. Remember the person who has been alleged as asking commission from a Japanese company is still a cabinet Minister. Somehow he has been able to clear from that aligation but the question is whether investors will believe that.
Sambo Monday, 20 March 2023 02:00 PM
His hopes have never come true and will not. Don't be deceived by such statements.
Ara Monday, 20 March 2023 02:40 PM
Yes it will, if we stop continue restrict imports and curtail trade and don't ever pay our foreign debt, pissek, stronger dollar is good if other costs are lower, exporters will be wiped out, U need to strike a balance in the short term and have a plan reduce costs in the long term, pissek
Cherath Monday, 20 March 2023 02:46 PM
....no longer a bankrupt nation but being able to restructure its debts alone wont reach the heights you are forecasting even by 2300. You need to have nation building plans. Plans to draw investments for massive infrastructure and industrial projects. It's only through those the country reach sustainability in most essentials. All this must be coupled with iradication of wastage, corruption and abuse of lower classes/the poor. A Royalist should be no higher in dignity and privileges than a kid from Paranagama MV., Patha Dumbara.
Cherath Monday, 20 March 2023 02:53 PM
This is entirely wishful thinking. Because we receive an IMF loan, how can the rupee raises its value in the financial market? For that, there must be high grade products and services presented to the world, competing with the best of the world - the demand will rise and the value of the rupee will rise. That's the only way you end up paying less for other currencies.
Cherath Monday, 20 March 2023 03:04 PM
SCRanjithA - The IMF loan is offered with 15 strict conditions Sri Lanka will have to abide by. Therefore, that wouldn't send any signals to any country that SL is reliable or over the worst. Since 12 April 22, SL hasn't paid 1$ to anyone. Ranil has zero plans to revive the economy, he is intent on just getting loans for survival. Each loan taken adds to the mounting debt, WHICH MUST BE SETTLED.
Ram Monday, 20 March 2023 03:15 PM
RW has a fat hope of Rupee appreciating to 200 or less. This cannot happen as IMF grant if received is spread over a few years
R.S Monday, 20 March 2023 03:19 PM
Sri lanka would be the worlds fastest growing economy If it goes to 185-200.to happen this there should be an excess in export from imports as well as there should be a deficit in GDP. Have we achieved that.This is a just another loan right?dont we have to import fuel, medicine, and other essential items? If so how much would be a liter of petrol and diesel ??
ala Monday, 20 March 2023 04:11 PM
25 year plan , wow!! what a leader. The country had to be bankrupted for him to come up with a plan.
Is the senileness speaking or what Monday, 20 March 2023 04:56 PM
Sri Lanka economy has to beat other economies to improve the rupee, as rupee value is relative to how our country does against others, that is the US economy. What Ranil is in essence saying is that our economy is going to be 50% better while US economy stays the same for rupee to improve by 50%. That's never happened before, so wonder how he thinks there will be massive change, with still 69 Billion USD debt still to pay. And still more loans being taken up too.
SK Kumara Monday, 20 March 2023 08:52 PM
IMF bailout has nothing to do with Rupee appreciation what a dumb ass this guy really is, he need to retire and handover the country to the younger generation who understands the problems.
Ram Tuesday, 28 March 2023 04:19 PM
Ranil... Maybe wishful thinking but all the best
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