Prez denies national economy in crisis, predicts good times


By Shamindra Ferdinando


Having repeatedly alleged by various parties that the national economy was in dire straits since the change of government in January 2015, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday claimed that the country was now on the right track.

President Sirisena dismissed assertion that the national economy was in severe crisis due to foreign debt and sharp drop in foreign reserves.

Addressing the media at the Presidential Secretariat, the President said the situation had been stabilized due to measures taken by the government over the past two years.

The SLFP leader predicted the situation would continue to improve and significant progress could be achieved over the next couple of months.

President Sirisena denied the country was in the midst a major economic crisis.

Commenting on continuing international demand for tea and rubber, President Maithripala Sirisena said that political opponents and others with vested interests were silent today. Those who had been complaining about falling tea and rubber prices several months ago remained silent though they realized much improved situation.

President Maithripala Sirisena explained measures taken by SLTB to settle EPF dues amounting to Rs 6 bn whereas at the time of the change of government, workers were owed Rs 12 bn.

The President said that action had been taken to bring all Railway land under a special unit in the Finance Ministry. The move was meant to streamline operations as the previous government had caused chaos in handing over Railway land to various persons.

Alleging that many ministers and their henchmen had the opportunity to operate lucrative duty free shops at the Bandaranaike International Airport during the Rajapaksa administration, President Sirisena said that despicable practice was discontinued. Today, shops had been allocated through transparent tender procedures, he claimed.

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