The Central Bank will launch Road Map 2021 for Sri Lanka on October 1, new Governor of CBSL Ajith Nivard Cabraal said yesterday upon taking office as the 16th governor.
He said these new strategies would be spelt out towards economic recovery. He said that when he first took over as Governor 16 years ago chips on Sri Lanka’s economy were down and like the COVID pandemic the country was facing LTTE terror.
In addition, due to mismanagement Sri Lanka’s per capita income was around USD 1,241, there was double digit inflation, over 10% internet rates, FDI was just over USD 100 million and the country was burdened with a huge tax burden while Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves were at USD. 2.4 billion and hardly any infrastructure projects being undertaken.
“After completing my first tenure these negative sentiments saw a dramatic turn around with the foreign reserves increasing to USD 10.2 billion( with a Chinese swap of USD 2 billion) FDI increasing to historic high-level of USD 1,600 million level, Per capita climbing up to USD 3,857 and also lowering of foreign debt. “It was while fighting an LTTE war that mega development projects like highways, Hambantota Port and Mattala airport, Norochcholai power plant and several irrigation projects were launched.”
“Today, while I am taking over the post of governor, similar challenges have emerged in addition to C-19 but these will be managed successfully,” he promised.
The new governor also said that one of his key priorities while stabilizing the economy was to increase reserves by way of non debt related tools. He said that he was requested on many occasions by the President to take over this CBSL post and finally decided to accept it.
“I am extremely privileged and deeply humbled by the trust and confidence reposed in me by the President, Prime Minister and Finance Minister to take up this responsibility. I will assure all of them and the people of Sri Lanka that they will not be let down, and the economy will be steered towards continued stability.”
He said that Sri Lankans have the ability to plan the future of the country and there is no need to go to the IMF and similar institutions for advice and financial assistance.” The government, bankers, importers, exporters, lenders, borrowers, investors, developers, service providers, industrial businesses, exchange houses, retailers, wholesalers and most importantly, the people of Sri Lanka must experience economic stability. It is then that undue fears are allayed, and damaging expectations are not escalated.
“To achieve that objective, the Central Bank will need to provide clear and firm guidance to all economic stakeholders particularly at turbulent times, such as the current times.”
‘Therefore, the Central Bank’s first and urgent priority under my watch will be to provide clarity with regard to the movement of Sri Lanka’s macro-economic fundamentals in the desired path and thereby ensure stability in the financial sector.”