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People cannot be taxed again to hike Sri Lanka state salaries twice this year: President

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka cannot safeguard its economy if it does not protect its banking system, the country’s president told bankers.

“If we do not protect our banking system, we cannot safeguard our economy. A collapse in the banking system would lead to an economic collapse,” President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“We need to progress from this point forward, and the banking system plays a crucial role here. How do we secure funding? Foreign investment is essential for the banks to thrive,” Wickremesinghe told a bankers’ forum at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, on Friday (05).

The event was organized by the National Bankers Association, and attended by various individuals from the banking sector.

“We have not yet achieved this objective.”

Wickremesinghe said efforts have been made to reduce the loan repayment by 8 billion dollars over a period of four years.

“With the USD 8 billion in debt relief, we are now free to pursue a new economy. We have submitted the necessary legal framework to Parliament to create an export-oriented economy.”

Despite these challenges, Sri Lanka has moved forward, but there is still a long way to go, he said. “Progress does not happen overnight.”

Wickremesinghe said he was not prepared to travel the world to seek financial aid from leaders, as some have suggested.

“I’ve stated firmly that neither I nor the Sinhalese nation is beggars. Despite this, some still advocate for change.”

Even though Sri Lanka has repaired the fractured economic system and made strides, the broken political system remains unresolved. “Our political system has yet to match the economic groundwork we’ve laid today.”

“We must choose wisely and advance with the program that our country truly needs, avoiding the lure of unrealistic ideals.” (Colombo/Jul6/2024)

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