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Possible to maintain inflation below 4-5% by the end of 2023 – CBSL Governor

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. P. Nandalal Weerasinghe stated in Parliament that customers who have been inconvenienced due to the increase in the interest rates charged for the loans obtained under variable interest rates in the past is able to get relief by negotiating with the bank.

The Governor stated this when Parliamentarians inquired regarding the aforesaid at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies held yesterday (16) in Parliament chaired by the State Ministers of Finance Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Hon. Shehan Semasinghe.

The Members of Parliament pointed out that due to the increase in interest rates, the entire income of some creditors has to be paid for loan installments.  The CBSL Governor said that customers can pay only the relevant interest for a grace period in consultation with the bank. He further added that instructions have been given to the banks in this regard.

Also, the CBSL Governor said that the average inflation which was at a value of 70% two months ago has now decreased to 66% and the food inflation which was at 95% has decreased to 85%. He further stated that with the existing fiscal policies, this figure is expected to reach 4-5% by the end of next year. Furthermore, according to the conditions of the International Monetary Fund, a new act has been drafted to make the Central Bank an independent institution and the necessary work is being done, the CBSL Governor added.

Furthermore, the committee drew attention to the difficulty in exchanging dollars to rupees by banks. State Ministers of Finance – Ranjith Siyambalapitiya asked the CBSL Governor regarding the stated issue to which the Governor responded saying that the Central Bank has not given any advice that would cause such delays.

State Minister – Shehan Semasinghe also said that according to a report of the Department of Public Enterprises, 22 out of 126 institutions have not submitted their annual reports for more than 5 years and some institutions have delayed the submission of annual reports for about 7 years. Accordingly, the State Minister said that since he will be working with the International Monetary Fund in the future, he instructed the heads of the institutions to submit the annual reports within the stipulated time.

Leader of the Opposition – Sajith Premadasa, Members of the Committee – Jagath Kumara Sumithraarachchi, Sahan Pradeep Withana and Parliamentarians Secretary to the Treasury/Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies, Mr. K M Mahinda Siriwardana, officials representing the Ministry and institutions affiliated to it were present at the Committee meeting held.

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Sri Lanka Mirror wishes everyone a happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year!

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The 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawned at 09.05 pm last night (April 13).

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ extends heartfelt New Year greetings to all our readers. May this upcoming year be filled with boundless happiness, prosperity, and success for each and everyone of you.

–  Sri Lanka Mirror team

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Derailed train causes delays on coastal line

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A train has derailed at the Kalutara South railway station on Saturday morning (13).

Trains operating on the Coastal Line are thus experiencing delays, Sri Lanka Railways said.

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Kristalina Georgieva to head IMF for a 2nd term

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on October 1, 2024.

The appointment comes ahead of the start of the fund’s spring meetings in Washington next week.

Georgieva, who has been in the role since the autumn of 2019, was the sole candidate for the position. However, it was only after European leaders signalled that they would endorse her last month that her candidacy was assured.

In a statement, the coordinators of the Executive Board, Mr. Afonso S. Bevilaqua and Mr. Abdullah F. BinZarah has said, “Looking ahead, the Board welcomes Ms. Georgieva’s ongoing emphasis on issues of macroeconomic and financial stability, while also ensuring that the Fund continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of its entire membership. It recognizes her focus on strengthening the Fund’s support to its members through effective policy advice, capacity development and financing. The Board looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Managing Director.”

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and support of the Fund’s Executive Board, representing our 190 members, and honored to continue to lead the IMF as Managing Director for a second five-year term,” Ms. Georgieva has said.

The Bulgarian national has served as Managing Director since October 1, 2019. The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. The Managing Director is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in overseeing the Fund’s operations, which serve its membership through about 3,100 staff.

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