Says IMF deal is not a reason to celebrate unless it delivers the country from the debt trap
Freedom People’s Congress member Prof. G.L. Peiris revealed in Parliament yesterday that his group led by MP Dullas Alahapperuma will vote against the IMF agreement. “We have arrived at a clear decision as the Freedom People’s Congress to vote against this in Parliament tomorrow evening,” he said. This is in spite of the President’s pleas to all parties to support the passing of the IMF agreement which was presented to Parliament this week.
Wickremesinghe appealed to Parliament to back the critical $ 2.9 billion Extended Fund Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as critical for the future stability and prosperity of Sri Lanka. The National People’s Power (NPP) is also expected to vote against it.
Explaining reasons for the decision to say no to the IMF agreement, Peiris, a long critic of the deal, said it is not an event that must be celebrated. “We must only celebrate it if it delivers us from this debt trap,” he said, adding that however, the IMF itself has expressed its view that Sri Lanka will require a $ 1.5 billion in sovereign bonds in 2027.
“Therefore, we will not be able to save ourselves from the debt trap. The people will continue to suffer,” the MP said. Peiris also warned that the Sri Lankan Banking system is currently under threat of facing a collapse. He also blamed President Ranil Wickremesinghe for the collapse of the Stock Market. “When the leader of a country says he does not care what happens to the Stock Market it will invariably collapse as it did today,” he said.
The MP also questioned if anyone can give an assurance that the IMF deal will not affect the private sector worker’s Employee Provident Fund and the Employee Trust Fund. “This is because the Government has volunteered to restructure domestic debt,” he said. The MP noted that many officials assured domestic debt will not be restructured but this has now changed.
“This will result in the people of our country suffering immense pressure,” he added. The MP said even already 90,000 water supply connections have been suspended and 20% of power supply connections have also been suspended due to the non-payment of bills. The MP highlighted that this will impact the production companies and in turn, affect the jobs of the people.