Local News: Warning that Sri Lanka’s economic growth is expected to fall to -3.5%, former Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the government to devise a long-term strategy to revive the Covid-19 pandemic affected economy.
“I urge the government to assess the Sri Lankan economy correctly and to devise a long-term strategy to revive it,” Mr Wickremesinghe said in a special speech.
“Many sectors that may have played a leading role in reviving the economy appeared to go down. Several countries that had established these industries have spent large sums of funds to revive them. Most countries have invested 10 per cent of GDP on reviving these industries.
It seemed that Sri Lanka devoted just two percent of GDP to the same. It will take years for the economy to recover if there is no proper emphasis on industries which have the potential to sustain overall economic growth, “said Mr. Wickremesinghe.
He said the economic downturn has impacted those who depend on regular revenue including three-wheeler drivers, laborers, and artists. “It is also reported that private-sector employment has become uncertain and that close to 500,000 jobs will be lost,” he said.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said printing money worth Rs.200 billion and releasing it into the market would lead to further economic problems.
“As a result of the current pandemic condition, global economic growth is expected to fall to -3 per cent. Economic growth in Sri Lanka is expected to drop to -3.5 per cent while the local apparel industry is expected to drop by 60 per cent. International remittance from Sri Lanka is expected to decline by 20 per cent.
Additionally, restrictions on imports will also affect the retail industry and local production. It is because retail trade is primarily dependent on imports while local manufacturing industries import their raw materials, “said Mr. Wickremesinghe, too.