Saturday, 16 March 2024 08:43

Zoom in to IMF Renegotiations and Basils Election gimmick Featured

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WIDE ANGLE –

By Rohana Jith

NPP’s economic policy has no substance to renegotiate the IMF bailout package as the party cannot be expected to surrender the final choice of deciding which market to be open and to what extent, which investment to be allowed and for what purpose and which advice of IMF be accepted and for what reason, to an uncontrolled free market entity which economic neoliberalism endorses.

NPP economic council said his party would also seek speedy actions on the debt restructuring process.

Also, it noted that a homegrown solution to stabilise the economy is needed and NPP is ready to come out with such plans of unleashing the growth potential, increasing government revenue, rebuilding foreign reserves and directing the economy for a sustainable growth.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s second review under a bailout package for Sri Lanka is expected to be completed by next week, IMF Senior Mission Chief for Sri Lanka Peter Breuer said.

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He noted that the key to transitioning from stabilization to a full and swift recovery is sustaining reform momentum and strong ownership of reforms.

Under this set up Sri Lanka has no way to renegotiate the terms agreed upon in the International Monetary Fund supported economic reform program to gain US$2.9 billion Extended Fund Facility since the conditions are strictly set to compel countries to achieve financial discipline

The government is compelled fulfill IMF conditions stipulated for this purpose in agreement with present government and the IMF cannot be renegotiated by successive governments except minor adjustments.

Sri Lanka has violated all 16 of its past agreements with the IMF and if the current agreement is also not honoured by incumbent government, the situation could get gruesome with the black listing of the country and imposing economic sanctions by donor countries, IMF sources said.

“So no matter how much we don’t like it, the government of Sri Lanka must take the country on the path of debt restructuring and in accordance with the IMF pact.

Opposition parties in Sri Lanka this week boycotted a meeting called by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss the IMF programme ahead of its second review by the international lender.

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IMF representatives have not been invited as the President has convened this meeting for political party leaders to discuss IMF issues and the continuation debt restructuring process on a request made by MP Dr Harshsa de Silva in Parliament.

As usual NPP led by Marxist JVP use this absence of IMF representatives at the meeting to mislead the public giving wide publicity to this matter.

They have blown up the IMF team’s visit to JVP headquarters which was one of their routine meetings with stake holders and other relevant organizations and it was nota special gesture by the IMF by considering the JVP as prospective party to form the next government as claimed by some of its party members. ,

National People’s Party (NPP) MP Vijitha Herath said the party informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that if the NPP were to form a Government, they would revise some reforms that have imposed burdens on the people and involved the sale of state assets.

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The NPP MP said they conveyed these sentiments during a meeting with a delegation from the IMF in Colombo this week.

NPP’s economic policy has no substance to renegotiate the IMF bailout package as the party cannot be expected to surrender the final choice of deciding which market to be open and to what extent, which investment to be allowed and for what purpose and which advice of IMF be accepted and for what reason, to an uncontrolled free market entity which economic neoliberalism endorses.

A surprise announcement by shrewd political strategist Basil Rajapaksa, founder of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) on snap general election this week had fired up a back door maneuvering of cross overs of MPs about to jump from sinking ships.

Several close door meetings were held this week with leading political stalwarts of SLPP UNP, and SJB have so failed to arrive at a compromise and consensus on the formation of alliance but their members begin to cross over from one party to another.

Only the, Marxist JVP led NPP is determined to contest any forth coming election as their vote base is predicted up by 34 percent from their nominal 5 percent come what may the result.

So now a whole bunch of politicians led by Sajith Pemadasa and Anura Kumara are rallying the public to gain power.

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The recent visits of the JVP leaders to India and earlier to China and their intended visit Canada along with the meeting with IMF team now in Sri Lanka have also added to much speculation about the outcome of the elections and the JVP’s economic policies

But to their surprise the first public rally of the United National Party (UNP) was held in Kuliyapitiya with the participation of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and in attendance of large crowds. .

Is It Hot Enough Yet for UNP plus breakaway SLPP and SJP MPs to Take Real Action? The latest record temperatures are driving, again precisely as scientists have warned of sunstroke similar to present political situation. The best stroke for them is forward defensive. So they have to wait and play defensively.

Day in and day out, opposition political parties all seem to say is how bad things are in the country and how Ranil’s regimes have ruined it. They don’t need to keep harping on the burning issues. Millions of Lankans already know the issues full well.

All these; politicos keep promising that they would fix the nation. They promise to bring jobs, eliminate corruption and looting, install rule of law and independence of the judiciary etc. In essence they are just talking the talk. Talk is cheap!

So this time the mainstream media and you tubers confront these leaders, please ask the how they are going to Walk the Talk? Hold their feet to the fire!

There is a strong possibility that the parliamentary elections will not result in any party obtaining the required 113 seats that would be a majority in parliament to form a government.

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This could, however, be resolved by a coalition of parties. Such coalition governments make the implementation of economic policies ineffective, as seen in the past political and economic history of the country.

In this context another prospect would be the not holding of the elections this year despite opposition parties’ demand and warning of peoples uprising

Despite assurances from the president that both elections would be held this year, political commentators have been skeptical about the claim.

Be that as it may the next president and parliament must have an economic programme with the continuation of IMF EFF whether we like it or not to ensure the development of the fragile Sri Lankan economy.

 

 

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