Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff of the President Sagala Ratnayake recalled that Faris Hadad-Zervos, the World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka was amazed with the action policy and the vision of President Ranil Wickremesinghe which was revealed during their meeting recently.
The WB Country Director also expressed his willingness to support the President’s vision. “The president’s vision for the country includes some measures that go beyond what the IMF or WB has stipulated. His vision is actually far ahead than this sphere,” Mr. Sagala Ratnayake said.
He emphasized the importance of getting everyone together to work hard on developing the road map and sticking to the timelines to get the best final report at the end of the next two weeks. He also said that this is the best opportunity for the country to stabilize economically, to have a solid policy framework and to go into the road map that is needed. “As a country, we have that potential and request everyone to make maximum use of it,” Ratnayake added.
Mr. Sagala Rathnayake made these remarks while speaking at the World Bank Budget support and Development Policy Operation (DPO) Preparatory Mission kick-off meeting between the government officials and the members of the World Bank which took place this morning (08) at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe.
While thanking the WB team State Minister of Finance Mr. Semasinghe said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe is committed to ensure the stabilization of country’s economy and the President has taken very difficult decisions to revive the economy.
The discussed Development Policy Operations, which provide direct budget support to governments for policy and institutional reforms, is aimed at achieving a set of specific development results. These operations were designed under three pillars such as transforming Economic governance, enhancing growth & competitiveness and protecting the poor and vulnerable to provide rapid financial assistance to allow Sri Lanka to deal with actual or anticipated development financing requirements.
Lengthy discussions were held with WB team on the areas of Improved debt management and transparency, Improved fiscal oversight, Improve tax administration policy, Increase public procurement transparency and value for money, Sever the sovereign-financial sector nexus, Improve stewardship of the financial sector and reduce systemic risk, Reform and enhance oversights of SOEs, Reduce the anti-export bias of national tariff policy and elite capture, eliminate barriers to foreign investment, make energy and transport sector less dependent on imported fuels and more climate friendly, and strengthen social protection institutions, delivery systems, and targeting.
State Minister of Social Empowerment Women’s and Children Affairs Anupa Pasqual, President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Country Manager of the World Bank Chiyo Kanda and the members of the World Bank team and the officials of the line institutions of the relevant Ministries were present at this discussion.