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Sri Lanka President warns that the economic stress will continue for at least another year

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the country's economic crisis would continue for at least one more year. He also said that Sri Lanka will have to focus on new sectors including logistics and nuclear energy.

“More you have more energy you can sell to India, at the same time keep more renewable energy available. We have to think outside the box,” he said.

Addressing a two-day conference titled, “Let’s reset Sri Lanka”, Wickremesinghe said that immediate reforms were needed but that would also mean raising taxation.

“The next six months to one year I think till about July next year, we will have to go through a hard time,” he said.

For Wickremesinghe and his team the most critical challenge is to revive the country's bankrupt economy. 

Sri Lanka is currently talking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package. However due to the political crisis leading to the fleeing of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, negotiations were stalled. The delay would only aggravate the economic crisis in the island nation, home to 22 million.

Sri Lanka’s central bank has already set a warning saying the bankrupt country’s economy could contract by more than 6 per cent this year amid intense political and social turmoil. Nandalal Weerasinghe, the country’s central bank boss in an interview earlier said that Colombo must have a stable political administration for negotiations with the IMF.

Hit by shortage of food and fuel, Sri Lanka’s economy contracted 1.6 per cent in the March quarter.

Also read: Sri Lanka's economic crisis won’t end anytime soon despite talks with IMF