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Economic Transformation Bill Amidst Election Speculations

By: Chavini Abeysinghe

May 19, (LNW) Colombo: President Ranil Wickremesinghe is set to introduce the Economic Transformation Bill to Parliament on Wednesday, a critical legislative move in the nation’s ongoing economic reform program supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This bill is crucial in fortifying Sri Lanka’s financial framework and ensuring adherence to transformative policies.

Government sources have indicated that the proposed legislation will require the President to ensure that, starting in 2025 and every five years after, the Cabinet of Ministers prepares and presents a detailed report to Parliament. This report will cover the policy framework, strategies, and legislative actions needed to sustain the National Policy on Economic Transformation.

When the targets set by the National Policy are not met, the government will be required to inform Parliament of the corrective measures being taken. A senior official from the Ministry of Finance highlighted that the bill is designed to enhance transparency in government policies and operations, contributing to robust public finance management.

President Wickremesinghe’s presentation of the bill comes amidst swirling rumours of an impending general election ahead of the presidential election. LNW sources close to the President confirmed that he intends to announce his candidacy for the next presidential election by mid-June.

Basil Rajapaksa, the strategist behind the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), has opted for a wait-and-see approach until the President confirms his candidacy. Additionally, sources suggest anticipated political crossovers from the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) to strengthen President Wickremesinghe’s independent alliance in the coming weeks.

Despite the persistent rumours of a general election preceding the presidential one, President Wickremesinghe recently affirmed that the presidential election would indeed be held first. This declaration adds another layer of intrigue to the unfolding political landscape in Sri Lanka.

The Economic Transformation Bill is expected to be a cornerstone of President Wickremesinghe’s policy agenda, demonstrating the government’s commitment to sustainable economic reform and transparency. The bill’s introduction to Parliament marks a significant step in the country’s ongoing economic restructuring efforts.

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