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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Sri Lanka: Private sector appeals to Parliament to prioritise political stability

  • Wants political leaders to resolve economic crisis to prevent serious catastrophe
  • Suggests an interim government that can focus on immediate priorities
  • Insists MPs must address concerns of citizens that has led to a massive public uprising and avoid spiral of violence that can cause serious damage to the people and economy 
  • Stresses every MP must take up responsibility and act in best interest of the country 
  • Points to fast and steady collapse of supply chains could seriously disrupt both financial markets and banking systems
  • Joint letter by 38 organisations collectively representing exporters, importers, manufacturers, tourism sector, shipping and logistics providers and other service providers addressed to Speaker, Party Leaders, MPs and President

The embattled private sector yesterday in writing appealed to all members of Parliament to urgently restore political stability as the current crises is destroying the economy further.

In an unprecedented move, 38 Chambers of Commerce and Industry jointly wrote to the Speaker, Party Leaders and MPs stressing the need for the economic crisis to be resolved urgently to prevent a serious catastrophe.

“We the undersigned Chambers and associations, unanimously wish to bring to your attention the catastrophic economic wave that is heading towards all of us,” said the letter by the Chambers collectively representing exporters, importers, manufacturers, tourism sector, shipping and logistics providers, and other service  providers.

It said vital sectors of the economy are witnessing a fast and a steady collapse  of the supply chains, which could in turn seriously disrupt both financial markets and banking systems.

“If all industries, exports and other critical sectors of the economy come to a standstill, the result will be  the destruction of the entire social fabric with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector being the hardest hit,” warned the letter copy of which has been sent to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as well.

Therefore, the private sector said, it was imperative that the Government is able to take forward the  engagement with the IMF and the debt restructuring process coupled with other much needed reforms  with a sense of urgency to avoid an economic catastrophe.

“We, therefore, call upon from the leaders of political parties and all elected representatives of the people  to bring upon political stability to the country by the end of this week, where a pragmatic interim solution is brought upon by the sitting parliamentarians together with the executive branch to address the  concerns of citizens that has led to a massive public uprising,” the private sector appealed from MPs.

“We strongly believe if this trend is continued  it can turn into a spiral of violence which can cause serious damage to the people and economy of this  country. Therefore, we urge every one of you to take up responsibility and act in the best interest of the  country at this crucial juncture of our nation to establish an interim government that can focus on the  immediate priorities described,” the private sector added.

The joint letter was signed by the following institutions (in alphabetical order): All Island Dairy Association; Association of Container Deport Operators; Association of Container Transporters; Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents; Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Ceylon Motor Traders Association; Colombo Rubber Traders Association; Colombo Tea Traders’ Association; Diamond exporters Association of Sri Lanka; Essential Food Importers and Traders Association; Exporters Association of Sri Lanka; Federation of the Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka; Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association; Hub Operators Association of Sri Lanka; Industrialists Association Minuwangoda; Insurance Association of Sri Lanka; Joint Apparel Association Forum; Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association; Leasing Association of Sri Lanka; National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka; Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM); Sri Lanka Association of Air Express Companies; Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO); Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products; Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council; Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association; Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association; Sri Lanka Shippers Council; Sugar Importers Association; Tea Exporters Association; The Colombo Brokers’ Association ; The Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka; The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka; The Industrial Association of Sri Lanka; The Planters’ Association of Ceylon; The Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association; and  Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL).

( Daily FT)

 

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