Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday, April 7, set up a Presidential Advisory Group, appointing a team of economic and fiscal experts to advise the government to tackling the worst economic crisis in decades.
Sri Lanka President appoints a team of economic and fiscal experts as Members of Presidential Advisory Group on Multilateral Engagement and Debt Sustainability pic.twitter.com/pjv3KCvYJf
— ANI (@ANI) April 7, 2022
Sri Lanka is yet to appoint a new finance minister after Ali Sabry submitted his resignation just a day after being appointed by the PM. “Sri Lanka must look to restructure a $1 billion international sovereign bond maturing in July. the country should seek a financial bailout, debt moratorium or some other means to address the crisis,” he told the Parliament.
According to the government note accessed by news agency, the members of the advisory group are Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, the former governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, former World Bank chief economist Prof. Shanta Devarajan and the International Monetary Fund’s former deputy director, Africa Dr. Sharmini Coorey.“Since the appointment of the presidential advisory group, the members have had a round of discussions with the President on key matters in going forward with the IMF programme, and continue to be in regular communication with related requirements,” the government note said.
The move comes a day after a government parliamentary group met prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss urgent steps to improve the economic situation in the country so that citizens would no longer need to stand in long queues for fuel, gas and essentials, media quoted state minister Shehan Semasinghe.
The island nation is witnessing massive protests since past few weeks against the shortage of fuel, cooking gas, food and other basic essentials. The public anger has prompted nearly all Cabinet ministers to quit, and scores of lawmakers to leave Rajapaksa’s government.
According to reports, the police are planning to deploy special security arrangement at VVIP locations like the President’s House, Presidential Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office-cum-Residence and Parliament.