Cabraal proposes 20% EPF payoff to address COVID-19 crisis | Daily News


Cabraal proposes 20% EPF payoff to address COVID-19 crisis

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Dr Nalaka Godahewa
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Dr Nalaka Godahewa

The world’s oil market has faced a huge crisis due to the decrease in the demand for oil following the lockdown of countries. However this burden will be reduced once the countries loosen their lockdown policies, Senior Advisor on Economic Affairs to the Prime Minister, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Ajith Nivard Cabraal, told a TV talk show on Friday.

He said that the lockdown of countries such as Italy, South Korea and Japan where majority of the Sri Lankans work bringing down a considerable amount of foreign revenue each year is directly affected. If this amount is not received then it will be a huge burden on the economy.

Cabraal also proposes a scheme to pay all the employees a 20% from the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) during the time of crisis.

“This is a strategy performed in countries like Australia and India which not only support the people but also the entire economy of the nation because this amount will be divided among all the branches contributing to the nation’s economy,” he said.

Thus rapid economic development could be anticipated which comes with the increase of demand.

The economic downfall following the COVID-19 outbreak would be challenging to the local economy of the country however it is vital to go forward facing the potential risks and identifying the possible causes and solutions to uplift the economy. Further it is important for both the government and private sectors to take the opportunities that arise from this pandemic that supports the economy.

“People need to think out of the box to overcome the economic challenges that would come up in the near future,” he said.

He also noted that the limitations imposed on the import sector will be temporary and steps should be taken to increase the foreign exchange reserves which would be a long term solution.

It should be made possible to import the necessary things in order to function businesses as well as for the government to obtain a means of income.

However, it may take some time for the export sector to receive the due demand and it is important to safeguard the export sector of the country until then.

Dr Nalaka Godahewa said that the tourism sector may not face a long lasting downfall but the country as one nation needs to bring forth new ideas to attract the global tourism market.

“The efficient way the Sri Lankan Government took to control this pandemic would be ideal to uplift the tourism sector if proper promotional support is given,” he said.

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