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Cabraal raps govt over economic mismanagement

Accusing the Government of gross mismanagement of the economy, Former Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the growth rate has dropped significantly under the present administration while the tax burden on the public has doubled since 2014.

Speaking at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) headquarters this morning (27), Cabraal criticised Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent predictions of a “revolution” of prosperity in the country following the formation of the proposed United National Party (UNP)-led alliance.

A “revolution” sparked by the present Government was already underway, said Cabraal, unleashing chaos in the economy over the past four years.

“The first revolution of theirs was decreasing economic growth. From 2010 to 2014, average growth was at 6.8 per cent, which has now come down to 1.5 per cent,” said the former CBSL Governor.

“In 2014, total tax payment was Rs. 1,050 billion. This year, the people have paid Rs. 1,712 billion so far. The Government charges taxes in every possible way to increase revenue,” he added.

Refuting claims that the country was in a debt trap in 2014, Cabraal said Sri Lanka is in a dangerous debt trap at present.

“Within four years, Wickremesinghe has increased the debt-to-GDP ratio from 71 per cent to 91 per cent. They also increased the interest rate. In 2014, the debt payment was Rs. 436 billion and by 2018 the debt payment has increased up to Rs 852 billion. They came to power promising they will reduce the debt burden. So how did interests increase?” he asked.

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