Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has claimed that the country's economic crisis would last for another year at least. Addressing a gathering at a two-day conference on 'Let's Reset Sri Lanka,' the president said that the administration had to think outside the box and improve sectors such as logistics and nuclear energy to revive the country from bankruptcy.
As per a report published by The Hindu, the president also told the parliament that Sri Lanka was in great danger and that hardships would persist for over a year. Reportedly, he also appealed to the Opposition parties to give him their support in ensuring the government is stable and able to function.
Focus on Nuclear and Logistics Sector
Taking example of the role logistics sector played in the development of economies in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the Sri Lankan president said, "The next six months to one year I think till about July next year, we will have to go through a hard time. But, Sri Lanka will have to look at new sectors such as logistics and nuclear energy."
The president pointed out how the ports of Hamantota and Trincomalee could be used to its strategic advantage and help revive the crashed economy in the island. He also called upon the citizens to stand united and effectively build the nation and ensure revival from financial distress.
Wickremesinghe took the reins of Sri Lanka after former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned and fled the country amid widespread protests as the country is undergoing the worst economic crisis since its independence.
Colombo Holding Talks With IMF
In a report published by The Hindu, it was suggested that President Wickremesinghe would be concluding his talks with the staff of International Monetary Fund (IMF) very soon.
The president, who has outlined the 25-year economic plan, is expecting the IMF to extend a fund facility, while the global financial organisation has put a caveat that only assurances from creditors in Sri Lanka would help restore debt sustainability.
As per the Wickremesinghe government, a financial and legal consultant called the Lazard and Clifford Chance has been hired by the state to finalise the debt restructure plan of over $51 billion by April.
The president also thanked the Indian government in helping Sri Lanka rescue from further economic damage. Meanwhile, Colombo has also taken Beijing's assistance of $74 million in May, apart from the $2.8 billion taken during the coronavirus pandemic.
(With inputs from PTI and The Hindu.)