-By A Special Correspondent
(Lanka-e-News -29.Jan.2024, 10.20 PM)
As Sri Lanka stands on the precipice of crucial presidential elections, a shadow looms over President Ranil Wickremesinghe's decision to utilize an IMF rescue plan. This article delves into the questionable appointment of Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake, an inexperienced figure, to enforce IMF reforms, sparking concerns about the interplay between economic policies and political ambitions.
President Ranil's decision to task Sagala Ratnayake, with a legal background and plantation interests, with enforcing intricate IMF reforms raises eyebrows. Despite well-experienced civil servants available for the role, the appointment echoes a historical event in Sri Lanka when a joker replaced a king, emphasizing the mismatch between expertise and responsibility.
A critical analysis of the impact of IMF reforms on Sri Lanka's economy unveils a mounting cost of living crisis. The article examines the spiraling out-of-control new taxes and questions the achievability of revenue collection targets set by the IMF. Corruption within the Inland Revenue further exacerbates the issue, diverting funds away from the treasury. Over 7 million Sri Lankans find themselves pushed into a lower-income category post-September 2023, raising concerns about the social and economic consequences of IMF-driven austerity measures.
The Office of Budget, policy planning, and Fiscal Management, tightly controlled by IMF officials, is crucial to ensuring the proper implementation of programs and maintaining checks and balances. However, Sagala Ratnayake, lacking knowledge in budgetary measures or fiscal policies, has taken charge of these critical responsibilities, raising questions about the competence required to navigate the complexities of IMF reforms.
Amidst President Ranil's globetrotting engagements, the article explores the connection between IMF reforms and his political ambitions. While advising Palestinians on funding and dining with the Indian Foreign Minister in Delhi, Ranil's diverse interactions beg the question: Are IMF reforms driven by economic necessity or strategic political maneuvering?
As opposition parties announce their candidates for the upcoming presidential election, Ranil Wickremesinghe faces a limited timeframe to declare his candidacy. Survey results indicate the NPP-JVP leading the polls, with the SJB led by opposition leader Sajith losing ground. The report highlights the urgency in Ranil's political chess game as he seeks to position himself either as a common candidate or from his party amidst a shifting political landscape.
This investigative report seeks to unravel the intricate web of political and economic decisions surrounding President Ranil's utilization of the IMF rescue plan. The appointment of an inexperienced figure, the socio-economic impacts of IMF reforms, and the broader political implications underscore the complex dynamics at play in the lead-up to the crucial presidential elections in Sri Lanka.
by (2024-01-29 16:52:40)
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