Sri Lanka to prepare comprehensive national economic plan

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed leading economists and private sector experts to prepare and submit a comprehensive roadmap on the reforms to be made in the Sri Lanka’s immediate socioeconomic stabilisation, a spokesman for the PM’s Office told Finance Today.

The Prime Minister has also taken steps to set up a High-powered Economic Stabilization Committee the next week to direct and monitor future economic stabilisation activities, including the preparation of this roadmap.

It is said that this proposed committee, headed by former Secretary to the Ministry of Finance R.H.S Samaratunga, has already commenced the relevant activities accordingly.

At present the government has suspended foreign debt servicing and it will be difficult to obtain loans from the international capital markets in the near future.

The spokesman said the committee hopes to work out the first comprehensive real national economic plan to be formulated after the opening of the economy in 1977.

Accordingly, the main task of this proposed committee is to reform inefficient public enterprises, other State resources and liberate the country from the subsidy mentality.

It is also stated that it is intended to direct the country to the cultivation of export crops by using the idle agricultural land and labour in the country for this purpose.

According to the PM’s office, the proposed High-powered Economic Stabilisation Committee will include Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Secretary to the Treasury/Ministry of Finance  Mahinda Siriwardene, former CBSL  Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Dr. Sharmini Cooray, Deshal de Mel, Dr. Sarath Rajapathirana, banker Dinesh Weerakkody, Anushka Wijesinha,  Daniel Alfonso, and Dishni Weerakoon.

In addition, the assistance of other public and private sector experts will be sought.

By Ishara Gamage