Aug 01, 2022

Can see the light at the end of the tunnel - President Featured

President Ranil Wickremesinghe says the country has experienced the worst of its economic crisis and that restoring political stability will allow Sri Lanka to begin turning a corner, starting with finalizing negotiations for an International Monetary Fund bailout.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, President Wickremesinghe said, “I think we’ve already hit the bottom. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel; it’s how fast we can get to it.”

The President also has acknowledged that it will take months before most Sri Lankans, who have faced runaway inflation and long queues for fuel and cooking gas, will begin to see their economic circumstances improve markedly.

Speaking from his office in the Presidential Secretariat, which President Wickremesinghe only moved into on Wednesday after it had been occupied earlier in July by protesters, the Head of State said he expected the IMF staff-level agreement to be reached by the end of August, after which the country would be able to further talks with sovereign bondholders and bilateral creditors.

The President has indicated that any preliminary agreement would still require the IMF board approval for the disbursement of funds, a process that could take months.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said officials are down to the nitty-gritty and would have had it agreed in July if it were not for the unstable political condition.