Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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President Ranil claims USD 8 Billion Relief Achieved through Debt Restructuring

By: Staff Writer

July 06, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted that the government, credited with rescuing the country from bankruptcy, is actively addressing public issues. He pointed out that an additional 200,000 individuals will benefit from the “Urumaya” freehold land title initiative.

The President underscored these initiatives, speaking at a ceremony held at the North Western Provincial Council Auditorium in Kurunegala, where symbolic deeds were presented to 463 recipients out of 73,143 eligible in the district under the “Urumaya” national program.

Addressing the gathering, he noted that he assumed leadership during a period of governmental uncertainty. He emphasized that the nation is now recovering from economic turmoil due to effective economic management.

He highlighted plans for inclusive development in Kurunegala district as part of advancing the country’s new economy.

Despite facing personal challenges akin to a house on fire, they prioritized community welfare and worked tirelessly to provide relief. Now, our country has emerged from bankruptcy. We have a four-year plan to repay our loans, offering reduced burdens and interest cuts that will yield USD 5 billion in savings.

We are currently in negotiations with private contractors. As a result, approximately USD 3 billion has been withdrawn. In total, USD 8 billion has been allocated for our use. Additionally, we have been granted USD 2 billion under relaxed terms. This does not account for funds expected from China or assistance from India. As a result, we have saved USD 8 billion over the past two years.

Before assuming office, during President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tenure, India provided USD 3.5 billion on favourable loan terms. Bangladesh also contributed USD 200 million. Despite economic challenges, we managed to repay USD 200 million.

I’ve had to make tough decisions to rebuild our economy. Raising VAT wasn’t easy, but it was necessary to stabilize our economy. Some leaders urged people to protest and even burn houses, urging them not to support the government. Farmers were told to come to Colombo, but without fuel and fertilizers, they couldn’t come. We provided essential fuel and fertilizers to support them. Eventually, they were asked to come to Colombo without planting crops.

Furthermore, the “Aswesuma” program has tripled the benefits of the “Samurdhi” program for the people. These initiatives were implemented despite the country being bankrupt. Government employees were granted a stipend of Rs.10, 000. Attention will also be given to increasing salaries in the coming year, along with wage hikes in the private sector. Income from tourism has increased, supporting a modern tourism industry that has raised people’s earnings.

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