The opposition alleged in Parliament that foreign reserves have dropped to $ 1.5 billion which included the gold reserves of $ 300 million. The Govt. did not refute the opposition claim that the available cash reserve was only USD 1.5 billion less than one month’s import payment, lowest in history.
Eran Wickramaratne M.P told a news conference at the Leader of the Opposition’s office in Colombo that as a result, essential food items and fuel shortages would follow and the country could face power cuts in the future
The MP also stated that manufacturers and businesses would be prepared to face the consequences if the government informs the country well in advance. The oil refinery was also closed for the first time in history.
When this government came to power, the foreign reserves, which was more than $ 7 billion, has now reduced to 1.5 billion dollars as this government is more concerned with giving relief to its cronies than governing the country.
He added that despite reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has provided emergency assistance to 80 countries, including Asian countries such as Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives and Myanmar, the government has not yet responded to a question raised in parliament a year ago whether it had received a rapid financing instrument from the IMF. Sri Lanka did not receive this assistance because the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had speculated that Sri Lanka would not be able to repay its loans due to the depletion of our foreign reserves which needs a comprehensive reform process.
The present government, which had criticized and repealed the fuel price formula implemented by the yahapalana government as a timely solution to the problems faced by the country, now insists that fuel formula is good for the country. This proves that they do not have a proper understanding of economic management or governance.
The foreign reserves which were around $ 7 billion in 2019 has been gradually declining every month up to $ 1.5 billion by November 2021 making it inadequate to meet the one month’s import needs.
Even the poorer countries than us in Asia received this Covid-19 emergency aid from the IMF, Sri Lanka was not included in the recipient lists due to the assessment of the International Monetary Fund that Sri Lanka needs major economic reforms in the context of the collapse of its foreign reserves.
According to the Standing Orders of Parliament, when a question is raised, it can be adjourned only twice. However, Wickremaratne warned that the government was still postponing his question ostensibly collecting data and urged that it was the responsibility of the government to tell the people the truth about the dollar shortage and its consequences in importing essential goods to the country and prepare them in advance, realizing that deceiving the people in prevarication of the fact is not a solution to the serious situation facing the country. (By M.Ali Hassen)