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CBSL to talk to external quarters, other than IMF, to build foreign reserves

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) will not negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) any more but negotiations are in progress  with foreign institutions, such as central banks, banks and donor agencies, for rapid financial instruments to strengthen and raise  foreign reserves, Central Bank Governor. Prof. W.D. Lakshman said.

“We have witnessed very little success with IMF programs and those guidelines are not suitable for the country, Lakshman told a media conference on the Sri Lankan economy yesterday. The press conference was held at the Central Bank auditorium, Colombo.

The Governor said that it is the government’s policy to work as much as possible to resolve Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange problems on a self-reliant basis, which in turn will be founded on domestic efforts. The CBSL is to discuss with institutions, organisations and countries that are willing to assist on a relatively non-interventionist basis.

“This is the policy currently adopted and we also have the policy of finding foreign exchange requirements on non-credit increasing arrangements. I think we are going to be relatively successful in the process, as the negotiations we are carrying out with a few countries and international agencies will come to successful conclusions, probably soon, the Governor added.

The Governor added – ‘At present the country has foreign reserves amounting to  approximately US $ five billion. Negotiations are on  with several agencies to generate foreign reserves by way of swaps and other alternative mechanisms which will not burden the economy.

‘The Central Bank will promote a market-oriented economy guided by the government to achieve rapid economic growth in the year 2021 and beyond.

‘Import restrictions on luxury items will continue for some time until the balance of payments issue is resolved.

‘In 2021, we expect economic growth to be more than 6 percent and to achieve that the Central Bank has laid a proper foundation to stimulate the economy and to increase export revenue. Further, many relief measures have been taken to support the tourism sector which was badly affected due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

‘Further, the IT industry was the industry that was affected least and it will bring foreign reserves into the country once normalcy returns.

‘During 2020 the economy experienced a current account surplus, the likes of which was witnessed in 1950/51, 1964/65 and 1977.Therefore, the Central Bank intends to achieve that level in future years.

‘Currently the country’s inflation is around three percent. Inflation on food stuffs has increased but will come down soon.’



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Cabraal briefs Chief Incumbents on Port City Project Commission Bill

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On the instructions of the President and the Prime Minister, State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal on April 19 visited the Asgiriya Chapter, the Malwathu Chapter and the Chief Prelates of the Amarapura and Ramanna Maha Nikayas and briefed them on the relevant draft commission bill on Port City Project.

Cabinet Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of State Lohan Ratwatte, Minister of State Kanaka Herath, MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara and MP Kokila Gunawardena were also present on the occasion.

 

 

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Growing importance of training for nurses taking care of patients with NCDs

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To keep pace with the rapid expansion and increasing complexity of elderly home healthcare, training needs of home healthcare nurses must be identified and subsequent training programs implemented. English Nursing Care conducts training sessions on a weekly basis covering a variety of care needs for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as diabetes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) record that NCDs are estimated to account for 75% of total deaths in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health “although people are living longer, they live more years suffering from disease and disability, mainly from NCDs; life expectancy at birth in Sri Lanka is 74.9 years but healthy life expectancy at birth is only 67.0 years.” This has a significant impact on quality of life.

English Nursing Care Sri Lanka works towards improving the quality of life of the elderly living with NCD’s by training nurses on the most advanced and developed methodologies brought through years of experience internationally and locally. Being responsible for the well-being of your loved ones is pivotal in the service they provide.

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SriLankan Airlines welcomes Indian delegation to Sri Lanka

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SriLankan Airlines in a bid to recommence Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka under the proposed bio-bubble tourist arrival concept successfully completed a familiarization tour for Indian media and travel trade professionals recently. A delegation of tour operators, agents, and senior editors representing influential media institutions concluded a familiarization tour in Sri Lanka.

The delegation spent six nights and seven days touring the country while being subjected to mandatory PCR testing and other health guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Health. Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, the delegation toured the most sought-after local tourist sites including Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Bentota. The tour was initiated by SriLankan Holidays and the ground arrangements for the tour were handled by Jetwing Travels, Aitken Spence, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), and Hamoos Travels.

The main purpose of their participation in this fam tour was to restore confidence in visiting Sri Lanka, especially among the Indian tourists to provide them in-depth knowledge on how the country’s tourism industry operates under the bio-bubble concept. Apart from visiting various places, they experienced the stringent health and safety protocols adopted by the country in resuming tourism under the “bio-bubble” concept allowing tourists to roam around without mixing with the local population.

During their stay here, the delegation was hosted for a virtual meet-and-greet with SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage, Chief Executive Officer Vipula Gunathilleka, and Head of Worldwide Sales & Distribution Dimuthu Tennakoon. The discussion focused on the airline’s operations to India, vaccination and quarantine travel arrangements between the two countries, current safety measures, and guidelines pertaining to the bio-bubble concept. They lauded the effort taken by officials to make their trip a memorable one.

The Indian delegation was highly impressed with the opportunities they were given to travel and explore the country and its exclusive holiday prospects for the enthusiastic traveller. This fam tour was a manifestation of the immense potential of Sri Lanka as a post-covid travel destination enticing the Indian traveller.

 

 

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