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Sri Lanka ministers given to-do list: Cabraal

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s new ministers have been given a ‘to do’ list in the form of specific subjects by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, State Minister for Finance and Capital Markets, Nivard Cabraal said.

“All ministers and state ministers have been given a clear set of tasks with a time table,” Cabraal said after taking office.

“In English we call it a ‘to do’ list. We all will be measured on that. It will be outcome based management. This used to be in the private sector. Now it is also in the state sector. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and oriented the country in that direction.”

Cabraal said the economic plan will be focused on the individual in a ‘people centric’ manger.

Sri Lanka has appointed state ministers for various sectors, ranging from pepper to clay.

Cabraal said Sri Lanka has to bring down budget deficits, keep interest rates competitive and the rupee stable.

The objectives may seem contradictory but they have to be balanced, he said.

“We have to re-build confidence in the economy,” Cabraal said after taking office. “We have to meet the challenged of Covid-19 with clear policies and implement them quickly and efficiently.

“We have to connect with the world and also protect our national values.”

Sri Lanka’s budget deficit is expected to exceed 8.5 percent of gross domestic product according to official projections but private economists expect the deficit to go up to 10 percent of gross domestic product.

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Sri Lanka’s private credit is negative allowing the deficit to be financed at lower rates, but import restrictions are worsening a revenue shortfall.

Weak private credit had also allowed the exchange rate to stabilized.

Sri Lanka is expected to present a vote-on-account soon after the new parliament opens on August 20. (Colombo/Aug17/2020)