Country in bad shape economically, says JVP member Sunil Handunnetti

Sunil Handunnetti, JVP political bureau member.

The government is using public money for its own benefit rather than on enhancing a production economy, JVP political bureau member and former MP Sunil Handunnetti said.

He made this observation at a press brief held at the JVP Headquarters in Battaramulla yesterday, May 9.

He said the poor economic management of the government had cost people more suffering which is already crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic situation prevailing in the country. He criticised the government for using the pandemic as an excuse to cover up its poor economic management.

Mr. Handunnetti said, “The Central Bank of Sri Lanka presented its 2020 Annual Report to Parliament last week. There are a number of issues raised in this report regarding the economy of our country. The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious situation in the country today. In the face of this, the people have been severely affected. It is reported that Sri Lanka has been warned of the second largest epidemic growth in Asia. But even in this situation we have to carry out our economic activities. We have repeatedly stressed in the past that our economic level is falling sharply. Before the onset of the epidemic, it had dropped to -1.6 in the first quarter of 2020. By the second quarter, it was getting worse”.

He also said, “The government continues to point out that the pandemic is the main reason for the 2020 economic downfall. The Central Bank report also states that the main cause is the COVID-19 pandemic. But really, analyzing the information and data provided by the Central Bank, the question arises as to whether we can face the pandemic with the kind of economy we have. We are facing the worst economic crisis in the history of Sri Lanka. It is also facing a serious epidemic. It is in this context that we have to consider the facts in the Central Bank report”.

“The government has to repay US$ 6.9 billion as foreign debt next year. The 1 billion dollar sovereign bond debt is due on July 27. How to pay off this debt? The country has been subject to a very serious economic tragedy,” he pointed out.

“The Central Bank report also shows that the country cannot recover from the government taking over the assets of commercial banks and printing money. The information we have recently presented to the country has been confirmed by the data in the Central Bank report,” he also said.