Sunday, June 4, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 10/04

  1. IMF Mission Chief Peter Breuer says SL has committed to reform after years of increasing economic problems and policy mistakes: also says significant tax cuts and delays in reforms contributed to the economic crisis: many analysts also point out that SL’s debt crisis was mainly caused by massive ISB borrowings of USD 12.5 bn from 2016 to 2019, while following an IMF programme.
  2. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says China participating in debt restructuring for SL is a hopeful sign: former Chinese PM Li Keqiang had previously called on multi-lateral institutions also to participate in debt restructuring along with other creditors.
  3. Manufacturers Assn Chairman Dhammika Fernando says at least 30% of BOI companies are down-sizing and many are unlikely to re-start after the New Year holidays: also says 40% in the SME sector are on the brink of closure: notes the newly imposed taxes are a serious concern: warns about 30,000–50,000 jobs are likely to be lost in the 1st half of this year.
  4. State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama says President Ranil
    Wickremesinghe will have his full support if he contests the upcoming Presidential Election: adds the President fearlessly accepted the challenge of reviving the country from a major crisis and managed to stabilise the country within just a year.
  5. NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says the Govt got involved with the IMF on purpose due to the CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe’s decision not to repay debt from 12th April 2022 onwards.
  6. World Bank projects Sri Lanka’s economy to contract by 4.3% in 2023 on the back of the 7.8% contraction in 2022: says demand continues to be subdued, job & income losses have intensified, and supply-side constraints have adversely affected production: also says half a million jobs have been lost and 2.7 million additional people have fallen into poverty.
  7. Govt Debt advisor and former Director of Raj Rajaratnam’s Galleon Fund Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy says he hopes China will act as a guarantor on new issuances of int’l debt once the debt restructuring exercise is finalized: also says he doesn’t hear noises in debt restructuring, other than Hamilton Reserve Bank obtaining a judgement against the country: says money will be received from the World Bank in May while the ADB is also trying to get money in as fast as possible.
  8. Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda says Govt will begin disbursing Rs.1,514 mn compensation among fisher communities on the Western seaboard who were affected by the MV X-Press Pearl disaster.
  9. Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe takes swipe at opponents of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill: says anyone who does not intend to engage in terrorism need not worry about the ATB.
  10. Indian Premier League top team Chennai Super Kings recruits SL cricketers Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana to their squad: Theekshana debuted last season and was used in the PowerPlay by CSK captain M S Dhoni.

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