SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne
- MP Eran Wickramaratne raises precarious situation in Parliament
- Apart from serious forex crisis debilitating the economy, warns of dark future looming with energy crisis ahead
- Says Govt. benches conspicuous by their silence
The main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday claimed that the country’s net foreign reserves had plunged to an all-time low of $ 1.2 billion and warned of a looming dark future.
SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne revealed the precariously low reserves figure – excluding gold reserves of $ 300 million – in Parliament yesterday.
Government members did not refute the Opposition claim of record low reserves, which amounts to less than one month’s worth of imports, which the SJB MP said was the “lowest in history.”
When the Rajapaksa Government came to power two years ago, foreign reserves had amounted to over $ 7 billion.
Separately, at a media briefing yesterday at the Opposition Leader’s office, Wickramaratne said the forex crisis would worsen the shortage of essential food items, aside from them being expensive. He also predicted a fuel shortage leading to power cuts and warned of the country falling into a period of darkness.
The SJB MP noted that if the Government came out and openly acknowledged the precarious situation well in advance, then at least manufacturers and businesses could prepare adequately to face the consequences.
The Sapugaskanda oil refinery too was closed recently for the first time in history, he noted.
He also pointed out that the Rajapaksas had repeatedly criticised and then repealed the automatic fuel pricing formula – which had been implemented by the ‘Yahapalana’ regime as a timely solution to the problems faced by the country. However, he pointed out that today the Government insists that fuel formula is good for the country.
“This proves that they do not have a proper understanding of economic management or governance,” alleged Wickramaratne.