Govt institutions permitted to use private banks



Minister of State for Finance Mr. Shehan Semasinghe claims that for the first time, government institutions have been allowed to use the services of private banks.

“We authorised them because we cannot afford to allow any breakdown in the country’s financial processes,” he said. “The Government will take every precaution to ensure that trade union strikes do not disrupt the normal life of the people.”

The Government will not allow any trade union actions to disrupt the financial processes involved in obtaining essential items, including food, fuel, and coal, he said. The Minister was responding to the recent strikes by certain trade unions and how the Government will face them if they continue such trade union action.

“When the IMF negotiations were taking place last year, they blocked the gates of the Finance Ministry. They did so to prevent the Secretary to the Treasury from joining the IMF-Government discussions and to delay the progress in IMF bailout talks,” the Minister said.

“When the IMF’s Managing Director announced that they are looking at Sri Lanka positively and recognised the Government’s commitment, determination, and transparency, in the last eight days, the trade unions have come out on the streets for demonstrations.

We also asked him if these Trade union actions were causing any revenue losses. “Yes, undue trade union actions will affect the economy. These trade union actions are unfair. What the people in this country experience now differs from what they experienced eight months ago.”

He said all should be genuine enough to understand the country’s improvement. These trade union actions have nothing to do with taxes or Government reforms.

“It is evident that on the verge of receiving IMF approval, many political authorities and Opposition party leaders have become uncertain about their chances of accomplishing their political ambitions,” said Semasinghe.

He said they would only be able to promote their political ideology with much lower intensity than they had about eight months ago. However, they might spread their political ideology by ensuring the people suffer as much as possible.


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