President Ranil Wickremesinghe attends a meeting. File photo
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the finance minister, will present the budget in Parliament, which will voted on it after a debate.
The government is negotiating with a visiting International Monetary Fund team on a program to rescue Sri Lanka from its economic crisis. The government is also preparing to negotiate a restructuring of foreign loans Sri Lanka is unable to repay because of a severe foreign exchange shortage.
Prior to the visit, the IMF said in a statement because Sri Lanka’s public debt is unsustainable, the IMF's executive board will need assurances by Sri Lanka’s creditors that debt sustainability will be restored before any bailout programme begins.
Sri Lankans have faced acute shortages of essentials like fuel, medicine, and cooking gas for months.
Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt exceeds $51 billion — of which it must repay $28 billion by 2027.
The IMF delegation is expected to conclude its visit Wednesday and the government hopes to reach a preliminary agreement by then.
Sri Lankans have faced acute shortages of essentials like fuel, medicine, and cooking gas for months. Though cooking gas supplies were restored through World Bank support, shortages of fuel, critical medicines and some food items continue.
Long fuel lines are reappearing after a quota system seemed to have brought them under control over the past weeks.
"I thought things are improving,” salesperson Asanka Chandana said. "For several weeks in May and June, we faced severe hardships, but things were getting better over the last two weeks after the introduction of the quota system. Now it looks like the shortage is still there and we are back to the square one."
"Our proposals in this field should include debt relief for low-income countries," he added, reminding delegates that many poorer countries are struggling to repay debt.
Sri Lanka’s government projected a lower-than-anticipated budget deficit for 2024 on Monday on the back of a significant jump in revenues
President Wickremesinghe stated that the importance of COP28 lies in being a platform for making final decisions on climate change and reaching agreements to propel global efforts forward. He added, "We should now do our best to get there."
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed on Thursday, honoured the winners of the eighth edition of the "Thank You” Award for employees of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.
European foreign ministers and UN agencies called for a ceasefire, with alarm rising over the worsening humanitarian crisis and potential starvation in the territory.
The weather on Sunday and Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to cloudy at times with a chance of drizzles to moderate and heavy rains at times on some areas, especially the northern, eastern and coastal ones, accompanied by a drop in temperature, especially in the west,..