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Present documents submitted to IMF in Parliament: Ranil

United National Party (UNP) Leader MP Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that the documentation which was due to be presented by the Government to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been sent, but not yet presented in Parliament.

He also stated that if in fact the same has been presented, he would like to see the documentation. Wickremesinghe made such statements while speaking in Parliament a short while ago today (29).

“The reason as to why I am asking for this documentation is because I want to see what has been done in regards to the Foreign Exchange issue we are currently facing. In the Budget for 2022, it spoke about purchasing oil and coal. But, if we do not have forex, how are we to pay the other countries? In this state, Sri Lanka will have power cuts in the near future, as we do not have oil or coal,” said Wickremesinghe.

Wickremesinghe went on to add that if Sri Lanka has to face power cuts, a strategic plan has to be in place on how people are to face the crisis at that time.

In response to Wickremesinghe’s statement, Minister of Education and Leader of the House of Parliament Dinesh Gunawardena stated that Sri Lanka is not facing any power cuts at the moment, and the only thing ongoing at the moment is a “go slow” by the unions.

“I agree, there is an issue of concern regarding the Foreign Exchange problem. But, so far there are no power cuts. This issue will be taken up by the Government and the relevant Ministries. Currently, there is a go slow by the Engineers’ Unions and Trade Unions, but that has nothing to do with the foreign exchange issue. Don’t link up the two,” said Gunawardena.

He also assured Wickremesinghe that the foreign exchange issue is taken care of by the Government.

The Leader of the House further added that Sri Lanka does have Hydro Power as a backup, and the Government will not allow for power cuts to happen.

In response to these claims, Wickeremesinghe stated that as far as he is aware, Sri Lanka currently has only USD1.5 billion in exchange, with USD 300mn in Gold, leaving the country with just USD 1.2 billion which would not be enough to resolve the shortage of oil and coal in the country.

“People can buy generators, but without oil, generators are useless. This is a serious issue,” he stated.