President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya appear to be in a contemplative mood when they attended the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Bank of Ceylon at the BMICH yesterday – Pic by Upul Abayasekera
- Says 80% increase in public deposits shows stronger economy than 2015
By Maleesha Sulthanagoda
Disagreeing with naysayers, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday argued that the Sri Lankan economy has expanded over the last four years, with growth of total public savings increasing by over 80% as reflected in bank holdings.
Speaking at the 80th anniversary of the Bank of Ceylon (BOC), he elaborated on the current state of affairs of the Sri Lankan economy. The Prime Minister emphasised that the current economic situation, when compared to that of 2015, was vastly improved.
“In 2015, the economic state of the country was very different when compared to today. The country couldn’t even request loans from lenders. Now, we have stabilised the situation. Although we still have to pay back many loans, we are in a position to do so.”
He also rebutted some concerns of the public stating that the bad state of the economy was due to mismanagement by the Government.
“Some people say that the Sri Lankan economy has been ruined by the current Government.
To them I say, in 2015 the public savings amount deposited in BOC was around Rs. 800-900 million, but as of 2019, that amount has grown to around Rs. 1500 billion. Hence, it is clear that the during the 4-year period, the savings amounts have increased by around 80% in a disgruntled economy, in this alleged unfit economy,” the Prime Minister added.
PM Wickremesinghe, expanding on the future expectations for the economy and the country, said that the main objective of the Government is to elevate the status of the nation to that of an economic hub in South Asia.
“We also have to look at the future outlook for our economy. Our goal is to make Sri Lanka the hub of South Asia, and make the economy one of the biggest in the world. In a few years, we will be the second-biggest economy in the Indian Ocean. In accomplishing this, the banking sector plays a major role, including things such as developing worldwide market through international transactions. We are also looking at the Japanese stock market to purchase Samurai bonds for the first time, and we are going to keep moving forward with more initiatives such as this,” he concluded.
The 80th anniversary ceremony of BOC, which has rendered a historically significant service, contributing to the economy and social development of the country, took place at the BMICH under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremaratne.