Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe recently told a forum of Members of Parliament that the crisis-led hardships must be faced by the rich as well, not just by the poor.
“If the economic difficulties faced by low-income groups increase, such groups may take to the streets and because of this, riots may occur in the country.
Therefore, by dividing the economic burden between the high-income and low-income groups, the economy should be stabilised by controlling the discomfort caused to the low-income groups,” Weerasinghe had said.
He also said that in the event of an economic crisis, the low-income groups should be protected first and therefore money should be allocated for social security networks to protect them.
The CBSL Governor made these observations while addressing the dialogue held at the Parliament Complex last week titled “The Current Economic Status and the Way forward”.
He said that solving this crisis is something that cannot be done in two months and he believes that it will be required to bear these inconveniences at least until December of this year.
Dr. Weerasinghe also pointed out the need to increase Government revenue by controlling borrowing. It was pointed out that the current inflation should be controlled and the export income should be increased and further emphasised that it is important to manage the Government income and expenditure. He also explained that to avoid this crisis, the State revenue should be increased to at least 14 or 15%.
He pointed out that by restricting imports, the cost of $ 2 billion last year was reduced to $ 1.3 billion this year and said that it was possible to buy essential items such as medicine, mineral oil and gas. The CBSL Governor explained that the current State income is about $ 1.2 billion and if it is possible to control the State expenditure by restricting the import of non-essential items, it will be important for the State income.
This forum was organised by the Parliament Secretariat in order to ensure the active participation of the Members of Parliament in parliamentary debates and to create an effective discourse on the current economic situation and the future economic path of the country.
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella and many other Ministers and Members of Parliament participated in this dialogue. Officials of the Parliament, including Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake, Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary General Kushani Rohanadheera were also present.