Sri Lanka has resources, fiscal space to meet Islamist bomb fallout: Fin Min

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has resources to meet contingencies after Easter bombing  and the rupee has been one of the top performing currencies in the region in 2019, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

"We have resources to meet contingencies because we have been able to lay a stable foundation; things are not as bad as they could have been," Samaraweera said.

He said the rupee had been strong this year and is one of the best performing currencies in the region in recent months, and that foreign reserves have climbed to 7.6 billion dollars by March.

Treasury Secretary RHS Samaratunga said Sri Lanka had fiscal space to meet contingencies, since budget deficits had been brought down steadily over several years.

It was too early to say the impact on the budget deficit, Samaratunga said, as data was still being assessed.

Sri Lanka is expecting to spend about 2.0 billion rupees in compensating victims but more resources may be needed for
second round effects, such as helping hotels meet debt repayments.

Samaraweera said typically, countries that are hit by extremist attacks take a 30 percent hit on arrivals but will bounce back.

The strategy was to tighten security make the destination safe and communicate it to minimize the effect, advisor to the finance minister Deshal de Mel said. (Colombo/Apr26/2019-SB)

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