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WB Country Director lauds President Ranil’s vision and action policy

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff of the President Sagala Ratnayake recalled that Faris Hadad-Zervos, the World Bank (WB) Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka was amazed by the action policy and the vision of President Ranil Wickremesinghe which was revealed during their meeting recently.

The WB Country Director also expressed his willingness to support President Wickremesinghe’s vision. “The president’s vision for the country includes some measures that go beyond what the IMF or WB has stipulated. His vision is actually far ahead than this sphere,” Ratnayake said.

He emphasized the importance of getting everyone together to work hard on developing the road map and sticking to the timelines to get the best final report at the end of the next two weeks.

He also said that this is the best opportunity for the country to stabilize economically, to have a solid policy framework and to go into the road map that is needed. “As a country, we have that potential and request everyone to make maximum use of it,” Ratnayake added.

Rathnayake made these remarks while speaking at the World Bank Budget support and Development Policy Operation (DPO) Preparatory Mission kick-off meeting between the government officials and the members of the World Bank which took place yesterday morning (Nov. 08) at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe.

The discussed development policy operations, which provide direct budget support to governments for policy and institutional reforms, are aimed at achieving a set of specific development results.

These operations were designed under three pillars such as transforming Economic governance, enhancing growth & competitiveness and protecting the poor and vulnerable to provide rapid financial assistance to allow Sri Lanka to deal with actual or anticipated development financing requirements.

Lengthy discussions were held with the WB team on improving debt management and transparency, improving fiscal oversight, improving tax administration policy, increasing public procurement transparency and value for money, severing the sovereign-financial sector nexus, improving stewardship of the financial sector and reducing systemic risk.

They also focused on reforming and enhancing oversights of SOEs, reducing the anti-export bias of national tariff policy and elite capture, eliminating barriers to foreign investment, making energy and transport sector less dependent on imported fuels and more climate-friendly, and strengthening social protection institutions, delivery systems, and targeting.

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