Lanka govt will answer critics with results soon: PM Wickremesinghe

Colombo, Mar 31: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday told critics of his government to wait for results of the government's action that would be felt in 2-3 months when it would turn around the current economic slowdown.

"I know that there a few individuals who are not happy. We tell them to wait and see for the next 2-3 months. They will be able to experience the benefits of our work, Wickremesinghe said addressing his United National Party's (UNP) reform meeting. He said the priority for the government would be to create 1 million jobs for the youth.

Govt will answer critics: Wickremesinghe

"For that we have to create a larger market, we can't depend on our market of just 20 million people," Wickremesinghe said pointing to his programme to sign trade deals with India, Japan, China, Singapore and European Union.

His single-minded commitment to sign the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India has come under fire from opposition and political groups who describe the pact as a sellout to India which would deprive Sri Lankans of local employment.

Wickremesinghe's unity government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena is accused by the opposition for the alleged sluggish performance of the economy.

The Sri Lankan Rupee has seen a decline and it fetched 150 to the dollar yesterday for the first time in the country's history. Foreign reserves have also declined adding to the pressure on the currency.

The government is contemplating an arrangement with the International Monetary Fund to tide over the immediate economic woes while blaming the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa-led government for borrowing excessively for infrastructure projects which have not yielded benefits to the economy.


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