Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Shehan Semasinghe Unveils Sri Lanka’s Economic Roadmap for 2024

In a recent press briefing at the Presidential Media Centre, State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe, unveiled Sri Lanka’s projected economic growth for 2024, anticipated at 1.8%. Emphasizing the government’s commitment to a robust economy, he outlined a focus on bolstering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a pivotal component of this strategy.

The Minister highlighted the upcoming budget’s priorities, addressing the needs of government employees, impoverished families, and the vulnerable. This budget also places significant emphasis on SME upliftment, reflecting a dedication to inclusive economic growth.

Reflecting on the challenges faced in 2023 due to a severe economic recession, Minister Semasinghe lauded President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership in navigating this difficult period. The government’s strategic approach, contrary to populist measures, aimed at stabilizing the nation’s economic foundations.

Key economic targets for the fiscal year 2024 were outlined, focusing on reducing the budget deficit and optimizing domestic debt. The budget strategy aims to diminish debt burden, reduce financial requirements, and streamline foreign debt servicing, all crucial aspects for sustainable economic recovery.

The Minister stressed the government’s proactive stance in providing targeted stimulus to reignite the economy, addressing concerns raised by various stakeholders. Strategies such as domestic debt optimization and bilateral foreign debt restructuring were highlighted as pivotal in securing the nation’s economic stability and potential IMF support.

A strategic allocation of funds was earmarked for SME rehabilitation, demonstrating a commitment to bolstering this sector. Additionally, initiatives for land rights, educational reforms, and support for SMEs form essential pillars of this economic roadmap.

Despite opposition to certain budgetary decisions, the Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to prudent economic management and sustainable policies. The focus remains on responsible economic governance to prevent undue pressure on the nation’s finances.

Minister Semasinghe underscored the need for a robust revenue collection system, particularly through enhanced income tax collection, as pivotal for Sri Lanka’s economic stability. He emphasized that effective implementation of these programs could avert future economic crises and pave the way for sustained economic growth.

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