ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a high powered ministerial committee to promote investments for import substitution and exports made up of cabinet and non-cabinet rank ministers.
The cabinet sub-committee will have Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also Finance Minister, Douglas Devananda (Fisheries), Gamini Lokuge (Transport), Bandula Gunawardene (Trade), Dalas Alahapperuma (Power), Johnston Fernando (Highways), Wimal Weerawansa (Industries).
Others are Mahinda Amaraweera (Environment), S M Chandrasena (Lands), Wasudewa Nanayakkara (Water Supply), Udaya Gammanpila (Energy), Ramesh Pathirana (Plantations), Prasanna Ranatunga (Tourism), Rohith Abeygunawardhana (Ports and Shipping) and Ali Sabri (Justice).
The following state ministers would ‘assist’.
Nivard Cabraal (Money, Capital Markets and SOE reform), Duminda Dissanayake (Solar, Wind and Hydro power), Jayantha Samarweera (Warehouse, Container Yards, Port Supplies, Boats and Shipping Industry Development, Dilum Amunugama (Vehicle Regulation, Bus Trasnport, Train Compartments and Mort Car Industry), D V Chanaka (Aviation and Export Zones), and Nalaka Godahewa (Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Water Disposal and Community Cleanliness).
Sri Lanka has slapped severe import controls after printing money in March and April 2020. Sri Lanka has suffered forex shortages ever since a money printing central bank was set up by a Federal Reserve official in 1952.
A series of central banks set up by Fed’s Latin America unit, in the region as well as in Asia has had similar problems.