Cabraal says Government preparing to face GSP+ loss eventuality

Ajith Nivard Cabraal

The Government is preparing to face the eventuality of the European Union withdrawing GSP+ tariff concessions from Sri Lanka, State Minister of Finance, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal said yesterday but assured that diplomatic efforts to avoid such a situation were being pursued.

“We have to be prepared to face the situation if the GSP+ facility is withdrawn. We have started a risk assessment to see how we can face any outcome. While steps are underway to deal with this on the diplomatic front, we also have to be prepared to deal with it on the economic front,” Cabraal told Parliament.

The State Minister also noted that while the country had lost revenue as a result of the months under curfew and lockdown, it is nevertheless focused on saving both lives and livelihoods.

Cabraal went on to state his belief that the economy would stabilise in the months ahead, promising that the Government would not shy away from taking measures to help the economy.

“I assure exporters and importers that the Government will take steps to stabilise the economy by talking to the Central Bank and putting the necessary measures in place.”

Of the Rs. 200 billion supplementary estimate before Parliament, Cabraal said Rs. 131 billion would go towards COVID-19 relief, while the rest would be for other additional expenses.

The Rs. 200 billion supplementary estimate, which was presented by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister, was approved by Parliament last evening.

(Source: Daily FT)