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    Country Faces Retrogression if International Monetary Fund Agreements are breached Featured

    June 04, 2024

    President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that failing to adhere to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreements would set the country back, and he urged support for the economic transformation bill presented to Parliament, emphasizing that it is everyone’s responsibility to implement the agreements.

    He also highlighted the importance of meeting economic targets outlined in the IMF agreements to maintain the country’s economic stability, stating that deviating from these targets would harm the economy. The president called on the opposition to refrain from making politically motivated statements and to instead work within the existing framework.

    President Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted the opposition’s refusal to take responsibility and their reliance on traditional politics, which has led to their current position. He expressed confidence in the government’s accomplishments and called for unity to advance the country’s progress.

    The President made these remarks during the “Urumaya” freehold deeds and rice distribution program at Wandala Sri Visuddaramaya, Karawanella.

    As part of the “Urumaya” program, 350 freehold deeds were distributed in the Kegalle district, and 800 low-income families received 10 kilos of rice each in the second phase of the rice distribution program.

    Addressing the event, President Ranil Wickremesinghe further stated:

    “The “Urumaya” deed is a symbol of your rights. Previous governments failed to provide this to the people due to the lack of proper systems. However, our government has taken action to grant land rights to the country’s citizens under the same law that past foreign rulers had acquired land ownership. It is your duty to safeguard this land.

    This government is diverse and inclusive, comprising representatives from various parties, both in power and in the opposition. It is not a government of one party but rather a collective of different political affiliations. Therefore, both the ruling party and the opposition are multi-party entities.

    In our current role as a government, we have shouldered significant responsibilities. The opposition, however, has refused to acknowledge this responsibility, setting us apart. I won’t delve into the state of the country at that time, but we have made substantial economic progress today. While many predicted a 4-5 year recovery period, we managed to bounce back in just two years, but we had to make tough decisions along the way.

    Now, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is thriving, and we are committed to reducing poverty through our agricultural modernization program. With 80% of our economy originating from rural areas,, boosting rural economic growth is crucial to poverty eradication.

    We have successfully negotiated agreements with the IMF to outline the objectives for the country’s economic development. The aim is for the country’s economy to achieve a 5% growth by 2027, with a further increase to 8% in the future. Additionally, we are committed to reducing unemployment to 5% by 2025 and extreme poverty to 25% by 2027, and then to 10% by 2035.

    The IMF has provided extensive support for our efforts to revitalize the country’s economy, following our public commitment to this cause. We are also actively working to restructure the repayment of our foreign debts, as failure to adhere to these agreements with the IMF will jeopardize our progress and support from the organization, as Sri Lanka has previously made and broken such promises on numerous occasions.

    As a result of these discussions, all these agreements have been incorporated into the economic transformation bill, which has been formally presented to the Parliament. This bill serves to enshrine our economic objectives and commitments. The countries that have provided us with financial assistance are reassured by our dedication to this program, and we are appreciative of their continued support.

    These negotiations are reaching their conclusion, so there’s no use in spreading rumours in the political arena. It is important for them to fulfil their promises within this framework. To the opposition, I say that you turned against us because you couldn’t handle the responsibilities and traditional politics, while we fearlessly accepted the challenges and we are in power today because of the results we’ve achieved. Let’s all work together towards the same goals.”

    Governor of the Sabaragamuwa Province Navin Dissanayake,

    It is important to mention that the President initiated the program to grant free land rights to the people during his tenure as Prime Minister. Throughout his political career, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has provided commendable service, particularly in his roles as Minister of Education and Minister of Youth Affairs, demonstrating his commitment to the welfare of children and youth. As President, he has now implemented the free land deeds program, aiming to convert existing licenses into freehold deeds through the “Urumaya” initiative. Similar programs in countries like Singapore have significantly benefited the population. These deeds provided to you today will not only benefit the economy but also yourselves.

    State Minister for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya,

    In the past two years, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has quietly initiated a transformation. He has been the sole leader striving to address societal issues and steer the country out of the economic crisis, creating a conducive environment for all. Presently, efforts are underway to grant freehold deeds and provide rice to low-income families. The President has consistently made inclusive decisions, championing those in need and ensuring fair wages for plantation workers. This quiet revolution deserves recognition and appreciation from the people.

    State Minister for Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya,

    By providing capital to impoverished individuals, the land lost by Buddhist communities during colonial times can now be utilized for free, directly contributing to the country’s economy. Particularly in the Kegalle district, these lands can be cultivated for tea, rubber, and cloves, making a significant impact on the economy. The “Urumaya” program aims to safeguard people’s land rights, and through adding value and exporting graphite from the Kegalle district, substantial foreign exchange can be generated.

    State Minister for Technology Kanaka Herath,

    The majority of individuals in this province have no land deeds, so granting them land rights would be a significant act of charity.

    Through the “Urumaya” program, GN officials have assumed a substantial portion of the responsibilities. As a result, we will be unveiling regulations for the electronic act for these officials tomorrow, paving the way for a future where they can issue certificates online. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has been instrumental in advancing the country’s economy and implementing new technology over the past two years. I urge the public to reflect on the progress made during this time when making decisions in future elections.

    Parliamentarians Rajika Wickramasinghe, Udayakantha Gunathilaka, Sudath Manjula, Presidential Senior Adviser on Economic Affairs Dr. R. H. S. Mr. Samaratunga and number of guests were attend at this event.

    Last modified on Wednesday, 05 June 2024 00:25

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