Sri Lanka has run out of fuel. The Ranil Wickremesinghe government has now announced shutting down of public sector offices from tomorrow as it awaits the approval of the new proposed credit line from India. Students in both government and private schools in Colombo and its outskirts will have to move to online classes from Monday.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said an interim budget will be presented outlining the economic roadmap.
“The interim budget will reduce unnecessary government spending, while controlling other costs. We will also focus on revitalizing many areas affected by the crisis. There is an urgent need to focus on many sectors such as export economy, tourism and construction,” he tweeted.
The country’s Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe in an interview to the BBC said that the delay in seeking financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund was a mistake.
Local residents in Colombo said that public anger is once again rising against the government as negotiations with the IMF are taking time. Though the World Bank provided a loan of $700 million to cash strapped Sri Lanka last month, Colombo needs to finalise the IMF bailout package as soon as possible. Barring India, Sri Lanka has received little bilateral assistance from other countries.
Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe also held a meeting with media organisations seeking cooperation in reporting facts.
“I met with the owners of Media Organizations and had an engaging conversation. I appealed to them for responsible reporting of the facts while holding the government accountable when required. Their support is important for us to navigate through this crisis together,” Wickremesinghe tweeted.
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For survival, Sri Lanka may need help before an IMF package is finalised