UNP leader says Government is printing money like newspapers

Ranil Wickremesinghe - Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

The leader of the United National Party and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the government is printing money in the manner of printing Sunday newspapers.

He made these remarks at a meeting held in Borella with the youth of the Green Blood organisation affiliated to the party on Sunday afternoon, regarding the current situation in the country.

Responding to the questions posed by the youth members, Wickremesinghe said managing the economy was not an easy task and that it would take a decade for the Sri Lankan economy to bounce back. He pointed out that this government had printed three times the amount of money printed in the past ten years, which included the tenure of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2010 and of the Yahapalanaya Government in 2015.

He said that managing the economy was not an easy task and regretted the collapse of the program he had started in 2015 to stabilise the economy and repay foreign loans.

The former Prime Minister pointed out that the government had reduced taxes and reduced the country’s income by giving concessions to companies and big businesses, and that the general public did not get the benefit of such tax cuts. “In that way the income of the country decreased even before the arrival of COVID,” he said.

“The government prints money like printing newspapers because it has no revenue. We saved $ 7.5 billion as reserves. Now it is down to $ 4.5 billion. We built the economy although we were blamed. We allocated for money for healthcare. They opposed when we were going to give tabs to students. If tabs were given, now the problems of education would be solved.”

The former Prime Minister said that no development is taking place in the country and that investors are leaving the country, adding that the loan of $ 2 billion the Government has requested from India and China would not be received. He pointed out that the increase in prices was just the beginning and that the stars would start appearing by the end of this year.

The former Premier added that it will take an average government more than a decade to fix this economic situation.

“By then the youth age is over. The confidence of the youth who voted has been broken. The future of the youth is lost. When we talk about economic issues, the freedom of the youth is restricted.”

(Source: Daily FT)