Sri Lankan president justifies harsh economic decisions

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has justified the harsh decisions taken by the government to manage the economic crisis, including a ban on fertilizer and other imports, saying those had become necessary to tackle the economic and social challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Jun 26, 2021
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Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has justified the harsh decisions taken by the government to manage the economic crisis, including a ban on fertilizer and other imports, saying those had become necessary to tackle the economic and social challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the nation, the president said the government managed the first and second waves of Covid--19 well but due to the people’s negligence during Sinhala and Tamil New Year season the third wave went out of control and exceeded the health capacity forcing the government to shut down the country again.

He highlighted that the pandemic gravely affected the industries, especially the apparel industry which brought in about USD 5 billion revenue to Sri Lanka, suffering heavy losses while the remittances received by Sri Lanka from migrant workers also decreased as a result of this.

He said since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis the government has spent over Rs. 260 billion to provide relief to the people. When the expenditure on support measures relating to the COVID-19 crisis is added to the planned subsidies, it is about half of the country’s total government revenue of 1,380 billion rupees last year.

(SAM)

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