President Ranil Wickremesinghe has stressed the government’s financial accountability to Parliament, making it clear that they will only adhere to the instructions and orders of Parliament in the debt optimization programme.
He said that he is committed to preventing the country from descending into anarchy by avoiding outdated political practices, and he remains devoted to developing Sri Lanka, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
The president was speaking at the 29th annual meeting of the Coconut Growers Association, held today (04) at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.
President Wickremesinghe’s address at the event indicated his concern for the coconut industry’s development in Sri Lanka and his commitment to fostering progress in the sector to match the advancements seen in other countries.
“The government has already initiated an agriculture modernization programme with the aim of creating a highly competitive economy through agriculture. To achieve this, we must also focus on advancing the coconut industry,” he said.
“Increasing coconut production and marketing it effectively are crucial. Relying solely on price control will not lead to successful business development. Instead, the key lies in boosting production and enhancing the value of coconuts.”
“Investments should be encouraged in the coconut industry. Currently, 55% of total coconut production comes from the Coconut Triangle, and the plan to establish a second coconut triangle in dry areas is a promising step forward.”
“Despite the country’s financial challenges, the current government possesses the capability to address these issues and move forward. Loan optimization activities are underway, and discussions have taken place with leaders from various countries. The goal is not to default on outstanding loans but to gain more time to repay them while finding ways to pay off debts incurred for necessary imports. This necessitates a shift towards a highly competitive export economy.”
“The loan optimization work is in progress, with proposals presented in the cabinet and discussions held with the International Monetary Fund and major creditor countries. After parliamentary discussions and amendments, the proposal has been submitted for acceptance. The State Finance Committee of the Parliament has actively participated in this process, working diligently regardless of party differences.”
“The control of public finances lies with Parliament, and this program has already been approved by it. The Parliament, being the custodian of the sovereign power of the people under Article 04 of the Constitution, exercises all the necessary powers. The government operates within the framework set by the laws of the Parliament, and decisions can only be changed or continued with the Parliament’s notification,” said the president.