By Chaminda Silva
The government will inform the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of this month, when the country could lift the restrictions on imports, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe said on Monday (19).
The State Minister insisted that vehicles could not be imported until the end of this year.
Semasinghe said that inflation, which had been 70 percent in late 2022, was now around 25 percent. The Central Bank had foreign currency reserves over three billion US dollars, he added.
The State Minister said the decision to sell the property of the State Engineering Corporation to pay salaries of its employees, and proposals to restructure most of the state enterprises, had to be carried out.
“It is not fair on Sri Lankans to use their tax rupees to maintain white elephants,” he said.
The government made a lot of money by taxing imports. Now, the government collects most of its taxes from domestic goods and services, he said.
The State Minister said that certain groups portrayed a wrong image of the IMF, domestic debt restructuring, and reforming state-owned enterprises. The government will counter these allegations soon, he said.