Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says it will take around 18 months for Sri Lanka to recover from the current crisis and the country’s economy to stabilize.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe noted that Sri Lanka is facing a major dollar crisis and a debt issue, at present.
Premier Wickremesinghe said they are in the process of restructuring external debt but facing difficulties due to the large number of private creditors.
The Prime Minister made these views while speaking to the India media network WION.
Premier Wickremesinghe noted that all politicians in the country need to come together to address the current economic and political crisis.
The Prime Minister said the government is currently holding discussions with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout package.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stressed that while the government is seeking a bailout from the IMF, it is also in talks with donor agencies and friendly nations to address the on-going issues.
The Premier noted that the IMF is expecting Sri Lanka’s debt to be at a sustainable level and therefore several changes must be made.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that the government should’ve approached the IMF in 2020 as proposed by the United National Party.
The Premier acknowledged that Sri Lanka is facing a full-blown emergency as highlighted by the United Nations and requires support from world powers.
The Prime Minister said a number of changes must be made and Sri Lanka should be transformed into a more competitive economy by introducing an export-oriented business model.
The Premier also highlighted the importance of attracting more investments and to have a dynamic private sector in the country.
Commenting on his interim budget, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that he is proposing to source additional funding to repay debt, import essentials and provide welfare support to the vulnerable while reforming the tax system to increase the revenue of the state.
The Prime Minister also noted that he is focused on ensuring financial discipline since Sri Lanka should once again become an upper middle income a country.
Premier Wickremesinghe said along with economic restructuring, the government has undertaken political reforms to stabilise the country which will ensure a prosperous country for the youth.
The Prime Minister said consensus has been reached on certain political reforms such as the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said he is pushing for much-needed reforms and seeking support from all factions in Parliament.
The Prime Minister commenting on external factors said, China has been helping Sri Lanka through credit arrangements but India has been rigorously supporting the government on several fronts.
Premier Wickremesinghe noted that they are closely working with India and he has been in talks with several Indian government officials.
The Prime Minister said the need of the hour is to support the people of Sri Lanka and restructure the economy.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that he is willing to make any sacrifices to bring back the country to a stable position as soon as possible and therefore noted that he needs support from both sides of the political aisle.