Neoliberalism : Sri Lanka says No to IMF


Richard Moore


Government rejects IMF dictat 

Sunday Observer
Sri Lanka
Sunday, 6 November 2005 

by Anura Maitipe 

The government has refused to accept USD 389 million
offered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for
policy reforms, Ports and Aviation Minister Mangala
Samaraweera told at a news conference held at Sri Lanka
Foundation Institute (SLFI) last week.

He added that the Government has refused funds offered by
the IMF for policy reforms the pre-condition of which fund
was that government should agree to abolish the pensions
scheme, privatise water resources, Inland Revenue
Department, Customs Department, People's Bank and Excise
Department. In addition send over 300,000 State employees
on compulsory retirement, the Minister added.

The UNP government led by Ranil Wickremesinghe had agreed
to these conditions. These are the funds that Ranil
Wickremesinghe refers to at election rallies. In the event
of his victory, he will place these State institutions and
water resources on the IMF platter and make 300,000
employees jobless, he warned.

Minister Samaraweera also refuted charges levelled against
the Government by the UNP Presidential candidate Ranil
Wickremesinghe that the government had not used funds
allocated by the Tokyo Donor Conference.

He added that government has entered into US$ 4.5 billion
worth of agreements with foreign funding agencies. In
addition to this the government has already prepared a
long-term plan to utilise promised US aid.

Minister Samaraweera also rejected charges levelled
against the Government by the UNP leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe of the non-growth of the economy under the
UPFA government.

He said that under the UNP regimes economic disparity had
widened. Now we have filled this gap upto a certain
extent. In 1994 per capita stood at Rs. 600 now it has
grown upto Rs. 1,200. In 1994 the GDP stood at 12 percent
now it has increased up to 18 per cent. In 1994 export
earnings stood at Rs. 1.2 billion now it has grown upto
Rs. 5.8 billion and foreign remittances in 1994 were Rs.
600 million and now it has grown upto Rs. 1.5 billion. In
1994 unemployment stood at 12 percent now it has been
reduced to 8 per cent.

Once he was a Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader of
this country but still the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe
seems not conversant with State affairs.

Therefore his suitability to be the President of this
country is in question, the voters will give him a
negative answer in the forthcoming Presidential Election,
he warned.



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