An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday December 5th, 2023

Sri Lanka 2024 budget a confession to 75-year economic tragedy: AKD

ECONOMYNEXT – President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 2024 budget is a confession to the economic tragedy successive governments have subjected Sri Lanka to for 75 years, opposition MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said.

The leader of National People’s Power (NPP), Sri Lanka’s leading leftist opposition party, said the appropriation bill for 2024 puts Sri Lanka back on the same failed path of “loans and selling assets”.

“The first chapter of the budget presented by the finance minister was a confession to the economic destruction he and his governments had subjected this country to for a long time, the destruction caused by successive governments for 75 years,” Dissanayake said speaking to journalists after the budget presentation Monday November 13 afternoon.

“He then says we have to move on from that destructive path of 75 years. He argued that the economy was built on loans, money printing and selling assets, for 75 years. But what did he say next?”

The 2024 budget also contained proposals to borrow and sell assets, essentially putting Sri Lanka’s economy back on the same old, failed path, said Dissanayake.

The NPP leader, who also leads the Marxist-Leninist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which controls the NPP, also criticised Wickremesinghe’s proposal to raise the borrowing limit from 3,900 billion rupees to 7,350 billion.

“His budget proposals are an extension of his own confession to the economic tragedy,” said Dissanayake.

“Instead of offering permanent solutions to the deep economic crisis, his economic vision is to push the country and the economy on the same old failed path, as revealed by this budget,” he said.

Main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Harsha de Silva in a more measured criticism of the budget had a similar view of the proposal to raise the borrowing limit.

Sri Lanka opposition econ spox has mixed feelings on president’s “difficult” budget

“Where do we get those loans? What will happen to interest rates?” said de Silva.

The Colombo district MP, however, acknowledged that the budget would’ve been a challenging one for President Wickremesinghe and was an attempt to put the economy on the right track.


Sri Lanka opposition econ spox has mixed feelings on president’s “difficult” budget


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Sri Lanka finding ways to clear 1.1mn pending cases: Justice Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is taking a series of steps to speed up 1.1 million pending court cases and encourage alternative dispute solving mechanisms, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe said.

“The delay in court cases is a serious problem,” Minister Rajapakshe told a briefing at the President’s Media Centre.

“We have already taken several steps to expedite cases.”

There were 5,680 cases in Supreme Court, 4,054 in the Court of Appeal, 6,168 in the High Court of Civil Appeal, 8,363 in the Commercial High Court, 28,000 in the High Court, 254,000 in District Courts and 791,000 in Magistrates Courts.

In 2015, only 49 percent of complaints to mediation boards were resolved. Following reforms, the ratio has been increased to 70 percent.

The value of disputes going to mediation board has been raised to one million rupees from 500,000 rupees.

To solve land problems in the post-war period, special mediation boards on property was set up in the North and the East.

Mediation boards on property will be set up in another 16 districts.

Commercial High Courts were increased to four from three.

Another Commercial High Court will be set up in the future. The consideration of cases that can go to a High Court was raised from 4 million rupees to 10 million rupees.

A commercial dispute resolution law will be introduced next January.

A small claims court has been established.

Case involving disputes below 2 million rupees can be directed to small claims court.

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Sri Lanka stocks close up as some investor interest returns

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Monday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.22 percent, or 23.33 points, at 10,743.59.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.68 percent, or 20.60 points, at 3,067.73.

Turnover was at 708 million. The banks sector contributed 189 million, while the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 176 million of this.

Sri Lanka’s stock market has seen some investor interest return after last week’s news that the country had managed an agreement on a debt restructuring deal with an official creditor committee, and foreign funds for some development projects resumed.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were Sampath Bank Plc (up at 71.50), LOLC Holdings Plc (up at 379.00), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, (up at 90.90).

There was a net foreign outflow of 52 million.

Citrus Leisure Plc, which announced that its banquet hall and revolving restaurant at the Lotus Tower would launch on or around Dec 9, saw its share price rise to 6.20 rupees. (Colombo/Dec4/2023).

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Sri Lanka rupee closes broadly steady at 328.10/30 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 328.10/30 to the US dollar on Monday, from 328.00/10 on Friday, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.70/14.00 percent from 13.70/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.10 percent from 13.90/14.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/14.10 percent from 14.05/10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.20/35 percent from 14.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.25/45 percent, from 14.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.05/40 percent, from 14.00/45 percent. (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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