The recent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) stands as a testament to the government's deficient economic stewardship, leader of the United Republic Front Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
The lawmaker attributed Sri Lanka's current economic crisis to fallacious policy decisions and mismanagement, the adverse repercussions of which disproportionately burden the general public.
He underscored the imperative of adopting sound management principles to fortify the nation's economic foundations. While acknowledging Sri Lanka's engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance, he advocated for pragmatic negotiations to tailor economic reforms in line with the country's specific needs and challenges.
During the previous administration, Sri Lanka was tasked with fulfilling 16 objectives outlined by the IMF, yet the incumbent government has fallen short of meeting these benchmarks, he observed.
Ranawaka outlined various avenues for addressing this shortfall, including the adoption of bespoke programmes aligned with IMF recommendations or outright rejection of proposals deemed unsuitable. He noted the need for a judicious approach to managing relations with the IMF, one that serves Sri Lanka's interests without inviting unnecessary strife.
The multifaceted nature of economic development requires a comprehensive strategy encompassing measures such as external debt restructuring. As such, he advocated for a methodical and accountable approach, lamenting the current administration's lack of responsible governance.
He also called for the establishment of formal mechanisms to chart a course towards development goals, a task he contends the present government has thus far neglected.
Despite the prevailing challenges, Ranawaka asserted that the United Republic Front stands ready with sound and dependable plans to drive the nation's development agenda forward.