Govt will bring the best Anti-Corruption Bill in South Asia shortly - President | Daily News

Govt will bring the best Anti-Corruption Bill in South Asia shortly - President

Receiving first tranche will help further ease burden of masses - Dr. Bandula
First tranche of US$ 330 mn IMF credit facility received yesterday - Finance Secretary

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that his government will bring the best Anti-Corruption Bill in South Asia to Parliament shortly.

He said that the Cabinet already gave the green light for the Bill and after Justice, Prisons Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Minister Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe after returning from South Africa, the Bill will be submitted to Parliament. “Hopefully, we can take up the Bill for debate in Parliament after the Sinhala-Tamil New Year”, he noted.

The President made this observation speaking to media heads at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

The President commenting on the IMF Credit Facility stressed that the future of Sri Lanka depends on whether the country goes ahead with the International Monetary Fund agreement or not. “If we don’t do this, the future generation will curse us,” he said.

Commenting on the IMF agreement, the President said that this is the first occasion we had to restructure our economy   with the support of the IMF and the creditors. “This is only the beginning. Once we got the support the financial assurances make that we are no longer a bankrupt State.We have to go to the next stage which is to negotiate with all our creditors, multilateral creditors, bilateral creditors and most difficult of all the private creditors. For that we must have a four year programme.

This is why I have asked Parliament to approve this agreement. If Parliament votes for this, the agreement will be strengthened. The country has already voted for this. I would like to get the assistance of the Parliament,” he said.

President Wickremesinghe further said that it is also necessary to show the creditors that the country has accepted the principles which are included in this IMF agreement. Firstly, we have to pay our attention to restructuring the debts. But it is not limited to restructuring the debts but to restructuring the economy. Financial stability is essential. Once we go through this process we have to increase the country’s revenue. We are aiming at much better control of the government budget.

“We have to remember that the structural changes we do will enable us to have a broad enhancing economy. We will liberalise further. We are looking at different areas of investments and additional foreign investment manufacturing. Secondly, modernizing agriculture and fisheries sectors. Thirdly, making Sri Lanka a regional logistics centre,” the President said.

Speaking at the occasion, Mass Media Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka became a “bankrupt country” after running out of money and it is impossible to find money to pay back debts through the income of investments like Port City or the Hambantota Port.

If there was no credibility regarding the loans, the Letters of Credit opened to bring basic needs such as oil, gas and medicines would not be accepted by the world, and if that were the case, it would not be possible to fulfill those needs.

The minister pointed out that the assistance of the International Monetary Fund was requested 16 times before, but the country was unable to recover even in one of those cases because of the failure to implement the conditions agreed with the International Monetary Fund.

The present government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe has succeeded to receive the first tranche of its bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and it’s a great victory achieved by the country.

The Minister expressed his gratitude to the President for his personal involvement in achieving this success.

Speaking at the occasion, Finance Ministry Secretary Mahinda Siriwardane said the government received the first tranche of the IMF credit facility US$ 330 million yesterday.


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