With the likelihood of partial lockdown being extended in tandem with rising COVID-19 cases, State Minister Nivard Cabraal called for a finer balance between meeting health emergencies and economic development.
“The clamour for lockdown is very strong but we need to reflect the massive cost it has on the economy. Economies are not designed for lockdown but for continuous progress. It cannot be stopped and restarted, and when that happens there is a massive loss,” Money and Capital Market State Minister Cabraal said addressing the Sri Lanka Investment Forum yesterday.
He said Sri Lanka has so far spent Rs. 131 billion on COVID control.
“We also offered a debt moratorium worth Rs. 4 trillion, or 33% of the domestic loan portfolio of the country, to ensure the business sector is cushioned. Additionally, we granted concessionary loans worth Rs. 168 billion as working capital support,” Cabraal recalled.
“Lockdown must be temporary,” he added, urging everyone to continue their businesses whilst conforming to health guidelines, so that there is no need for a lockdown and that the pandemic can be faced in a cohesive manner.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe, doing everything we can is a necessity.”