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Tuesday May 21st, 2024

Sri Lanka to build 2,000 housing units for low-income families by Feb 2023

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to construct 2,000 housing units for low-income families to mark the country’s 75th independence cay celebrations which falls on February 04 next year, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

In a statement issued for World Habitat Day, President Wickremesinghe has said the project will benefit both urban and semi-urban populations.

“The government’s goal is to solve the housing needs of low-income families living in rural and urban areas in an efficient and humane manner. Irrespective of personal agendas, we will introduce a proper method when vesting them to the public,” the statement quoted him as saying on Sunday October 02.

“With the upcoming 75th independence celebration, in our next 25-year plan, we all hope to build a society that will lead us to live happily in our own home with our beloved family. We as a government are already working for make this wish a reality,” said Wickremesinghe.

Wickremesinghe, since his election by parliament as president, has spoken of steering Sri Lanka towards developed nation status by the time the country celebrates its 100th independence day in 2048. The island nation is now going through its worst currency crisis in decades, with record inflation causing hardships to large sections of the public, with low-income groups especially affected.

President Wickremesinghe’s administration has so far succeeded in negotiating a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a four-year extended fund facility of 2.9 billion US dollars, pending IMF board approval. However progress has been slow as Sri Lanka’s creditors have been slow to respond to debt restructuring efforts.

“Instead of regretting the lost excellent opportunities, only an awakening of attitude can be used to practice the future opportunities for the good of all,” he said in Sunday’s statement.

“It has been more than half a century since we gained independence. Many other countries in the region and the world that had a lower socio-economic status than Sri Lanka have already passed us by. It is a challenging task to develop a country without long-term national policies that help to achieve sustainable development from an export-led innovative economy,” he said.

The president said it is everyone’s responsibility to engage in self-conversation and provide appropriate answers to the local and global challenges that affect Sri Lanka in the pursuit of its goals.

“Long-term policies, laws and programmes that can successfully deal with the emerging problem are the need of the hour. I see the need for all of us to work together for the country,” he said, noting a need to revise deeply to build a society with no one left behind and no gaps. (Colombo/Oct03/2022)


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Sri Lanka declares May 21 as National Mourning day over Iranian President’s death

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka declared a national mourning day on Tuesday, May 21 in view of expressing its solidarity with Iran after sudden death of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi following a helicopter crash.

President Raisi and eight others including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed in the crash when the helicopter had a “hard landing” reportedly due to adverse weather conditions with heavy fog. However, President’s two convoy helicopters reached the destination safely.

“The Sri Lankan government has declared a national mourning day on tomorrow (May 21) on behalf of the sudden death of Iranian president Mr. Ebrahim Raisi,” the Department of Government Information said in a statement.

It also urged all the state institutions have to hoist the national flag half mast.

Raisi was in Sri Lanka on April 24 to launch the Uma Oya dam on a one-day official visit amid tight security. His helicopter crashed when he was returning to Iran after launching a dam in the Azerbaijan border.

President Raisi is seen as a hardliner and a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said the island nation will deal with Iran for investments and trade without being caught into the United States-led sanctions.

Sri Lanka was unable to receive $450 million from Iran for a recently opened Uma Oya multipurpose project started before the sanctions.

Sri Lanka now exports tea to Iran for no dollar payment. Instead, Sri Lanka tea producers are paid by the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in rupees for the pending crude oil import payments for Iran.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his condolences on the tragic incident.

“Sri Lanka is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and other senior Irani official,” he said in his official X-platform.

“I express my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the government and the people of Iran.”

Raisi, a Muslim jurist, served as the eighth president of Iran from 2021 until his death. (Colombo/May 20/2024)

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Sri Lanka helps launch Global Blended Finance Alliance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has joined a group of nations led by Indonesia which aims to mobilise capital to achieve carbon neutrality, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman said.

The Global Blended Finance Alliance mooted by Indonesia in 2018, was formally launched at the World Water Forum in Bali today.

Among the other founding members are Fiji, France, UAE, Kenya, Luxembourg and Canada.

“Through our collective efforts, the Global Blended Finance Alliance aims to mobilise both public and private capital to help nations achieve carbon neutrality and the SDGs,” Thondaman said on social media platform X (twitter).

“The world has a USD 2.5 trillion funding gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” he said.

Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance, such as public and/or philanthropic funds, for the mobilisation of additional commercial finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes slightly stronger at 299.60/75 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee appreciated slightly to close at 299.60/75 to the US dollar on Friday, from 299.70/80 the previous week, dealers said. Bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed up at 10.15/35 percent from 10.05/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed up at 10.45/55 percent from 10.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 10.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2030 closed at 11.70/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed up at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.85/12.00 percent. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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