Data on economy incomplete – PM

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (18), revealed in Parliament that the information regarding the economy is incomplete and in some instances incorrect.

In response to a question raised by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, the PM said he will provide a full update to the entire Parliamentby next week. In the meantime, he told the Opposition to expect to be briefed on the situation in the next day or two.

“We have about USD 10 billion debt instalments. But right now, we do not even have USD 1 million for that. This is the real situation,” he said.

Wickremesinghe explained that due to poor weather conditions, gas shipments will have to be unloaded via lorries and this will cause a delay.

He further explained that the country had received USD 160 million from the World Bank; however, this money cannot be used for fuel purchases. However, the Government is discussing this matter with World Bank officials and requesting to
allow funds to be used for urgent purchases of fuel.

The Prime Minister added that the fertiliser issue is also being addressed as the war in Ukraine has caused a global shortage in fertiliser.

Meanwhile, the PM requested Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to support procuring 14 essential drugs currently in short supply through SJB’s ‘Husma’ programme. He pledged to inform
Sri Lankan embassies and provide an official from the Ministry to assist the Opposition.

Premadasa said the SJB primarily focuses on hospital equipment.

“We only tell what we can actually do. But tell us the details of the drugs and we will coordinate with officials,” he said.

By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake