Warning that 500,000 workers ranging from three-wheeler drivers to high level executives would lose their jobs due to the impact of the rampaging Coronavirus, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said last week that the government, by printing Rs. 200 billion during an economic recession, had only succeeded in pushing up inflation.
Pointing out that the government’s response to the crisis was inadequate, he said the country should be provided with an economic assessment of the situation, a credible economic package and urgent relief for the self employment, SME and construction sectors, before more jobs and livelihoods were lost.
Wickremesinghe also called for the recent ban on imports to be lifted, noting that domestic industries required imported raw materials.
Apparel exports would lose 60 percent of its income, tourism would have a very bad year and foreign remittances would reduce by 20 percent. These issues should be resolved by working with the IMF, he added.
(Source: The Island – By Zacki Jabbar)