During a press conference held today (19) at the Presidential Media Centre, Minister of State for Finance Mr Shehan Semasinghe addressed the issue of false information being disseminated by various parties in the country regarding the domestic debt optimization program.
He emphasized that the government has not made a final decision on this matter. Minister Semasinghe further emphasized the sensitivity surrounding the optimization of domestic debt and assured that the government is approaching this issue with utmost responsibility.
Minister Shehan Semasinghe reaffirmed the government’s dedication to achieving improved optimization in order to uphold the stability of Sri Lanka’s banking and financial system. His remarks were made in line with the conference’s theme, ‘Collective path to a stable country’.
Expressing his views, Minister Shehan Semasinghe further said;
“No final decision has been made yet on the domestic debt optimization program. However, as a government, we always approach sensitive issues responsibly. President Ranil Wickremesinghe also addressed the matter of domestic debt optimization in Parliament. The Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance have provided clarifications on their stance. Our focus is on finding solutions for optimizing the banking and financial system of our country without negatively impacting stability, which is crucial. Consequently, various information and announcements are being released within the country.
Once the government reaches a final decision, we are prepared to inform both the parliament and the public. This is an extremely sensitive matter that significantly influences the market situation. Therefore, it is vital that we refrain from making statements that create doubts regarding this optimization, as it helps maintain stability in our financial market. We must all act responsibly in this regard. Following the President’s visit to France, we anticipate gaining a better understanding of these issues, particularly concerning the restructuring of foreign debt.
There have been criticisms on the political platforms concerning the current economic program implemented by the government. However, if the groups criticizing had a need or a plan, and possessed the capability, they would have an opportunity to confront that challenge. Only President Ranil Wickremesinghe has accepted that challenge. He has communicated to the people the progress made by the country since assuming office as President. While the leaders responsible for meeting the needs of the people fulfils their duties, those who have not taken on this responsibility continue to make various statements. Specifically, the JVP platform has expressed various opinions regarding the management of the economy. However, none of these statements present any practical ideas or programs for building the country.
The aim is to find a solution to the economic crisis without relying on the intervention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The government seeks to address the challenges and overcome the crisis through its own program, without external financial assistance. The specific solution that does not involve the IMF’s intervention is not mentioned.
While there are claims of providing a solution without IMF support, it is implied that such claims may lack substance. The challenging times we have faced are gradually coming to an end, and there is a belief that better progress will be achieved through the government’s program.
The IMF predicts a decrease in the negative growth rate from -7.8 to -3 by the end of the year. However, the government’s commitment and efforts are expected to lead to positive developments in 2024.
The government has achieved more results than anticipated thus far, and it is important to maintain the commitment made by the government.
The country’s progress in terms of transparency, combating corruption, and addressing fraud has gained international attention. The parliamentary week, which begins today, is expected to enhance confidence in Sri Lanka’s economy, administrative structure, and financial system. The Budget Office Bill and an Anti-Corruption Bill will be debated and passed in parliament, contributing to the country’s progress.
Passing these bills is crucial to boost the strength of the country’s financial market and attract investments. It may also lead to a change in rating agencies’ opinions about Sri Lanka. The first review with the IMF in September will showcase the progress made and the current program being implemented. Alternative measures have already been taken to address the slight decrease in income levels. Overall, the economic process is being successfully implemented in the country, though it may take some more time for the people to feel its effects.
As a government, we are committed to advancing this program. Any opposition or attempts to destabilize the political and social stability established can have consequences worse than those experienced during the weak economy of the previous year. Despite short-term challenges, we need everyone’s support to steer the country onto a new path, ensuring a clear future and preventing similar crises from occurring again.
Two groups exist in the country: one that capitalizes on the people’s suffering during the economic crisis to advance their political goals, and another that genuinely supports the government’s efforts to overcome the crisis. Some individuals attempt to spread misinformation and false news. As a government, we strive to provide accurate information based on correct data and statistics to enable people to make informed decisions.
The Presidential Media Division is fully responsible for socializing the views, actions, decisions and statements of His Excellency the President through the media. Electronic, print and new media will contribute to this through a credible and engaging approach.
The media department works as a source of information on the subject of the President’s vision and mission by maintaining good coordination with public and private media organizations and journalists.
National policies, plans and measures are explained to the people through the use of high quality media. Identify the fallacies and reveal the truth.