SL currently facing a foreign currency issue: PM

Sri Lanka is currently facing a foreign currency issue and needs to go for an export-driven economy, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.

Mr. Wickremesinghe expressed this sentiment during the opening
of greater Kurunegala water supply and sewerage project this evening.

“The country was facing a debt service issue when we took over and the nation’s revenue was not sufficient to settle the debts. However, we have managed to reduce the debt service to 70 per cent of our revenue. We have also been able to increase state revenue by ten per cent. However the country is short of US dollars,” the Prime Minister said.

However, the Prime Minister assured that the troubled times are ending and the country’s economy would be stable from next year.

The Prime Minister, therefore, said the country’s economy should be converted into an export-driven one. “ We will have to get more investments in order to increase our exports,” he said while highlighting that vast development projects will take place from Hambantota to Kandy via Kurunegala.

He said Kurunegala will benefit from the Central Highway project which is already underway. He said phase one of the project was handed over to China while the second phase was given to Sri Lankan firms. The Third phase will be done by a Chinese Company and the final phase in India.

In addition, he said Enterprise Sri Lanka and Gam Peraliya programmes will help economic situation of rural folk.

Minister of Water Management and Town Planning Rauff Hakeem said the second phase of the Greater Kurunegala water supply and sewerage project would be funded by Indian Export Bank. He said the cabinet has approved this funding. He said Kandy, Kuliyapitiya water projects and Negombo, Galle, Batticaloa and Kalmunei swearage projects will be launched soon.

Secretary Economic and Commere Affairs Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka Yang Zuoyvan said Sri Lanka could benefit from Slik Raod and One Belt One Raod concept of China. He said Chinese companies are keen to invest in Sri Lanka and assist in its infrastructure facilities development. “Chinese companies are committed to quality and preservation of the environment. Focusing on Grater Kurunegala water supply and Sewerage project he said 30,000 cubic meters of rock had to be removed to lay pipelines under the project. (Yohan Perera in Kurunegala)