Lockdown and its impact on the economy

2021-06-11 at 17:52

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka says it cannot accurately predict the impact the mandatory travel restrictions had on the local economy.

Speaking to media at the Government Information Department today, Director of Economic Research at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Chandranath Amarasekara said the Department of Census and Statistics will examine economic indicators and data to arrive at a conclusion on the real impact of the lockdown on Sri Lanka’s economy.

He revealed that the government needs to consider between ensuring people’s health and maintaining a stable economy.

Amarasekara acknowledged that people have lost their livelihoods, but noted that if they are allowed to continue operations, the novel coronavirus will spread rapidly in the society and destroy more businesses.

The Director of Economic Research said the annual GDP of Sri Lanka which is Rs.15 trillion, would be unaffected if the country is closed for just one day.

However, he pointed out that losses to the state could not be fully recovered if the country is closed for a month.

Chandranath Amarasekara also revealed that no decision has been taken to obtain a conditional loan from the International Monetary Fund.

He claimed that the foreign reserves are at 4 billion US dollars at present, which would be sufficient to for the imports within the next three months.

Chandranath Amarasekara said they are hopeful of maintaining the reserves at the same level until the end of 2021.