’Yet to decide if I will re-contest Presidency’ - Ranil says
With a Presidential election scheduled for next year, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said he had still not made a decision if he would re contest the presidency as his focus presently was to terminate Sri Lanka from bankruptcy.
Responding to a question by the Daily Mirror at a meeting with the Editors at the Presidential Secretariat last evening, Wickremesinghe did not confirm nor deny his plans of a possible re-contest of the presidency but said he would wait and see.
"My primary focus right now is to terminate Sri Lanka from bankruptcy and then I will decide," the President said.
When questioned on the future of his political party, the United National Party, Wickremesinghe said that UNP MPs were defeated at the last General Election as they were the only lot that spoke for the truth about the economy.'
Therefore he said the UNP will look at re-grouping and making a comeback before the elections next year.
Explaining how the country planned to exit from bankruptcy, Wickremesinghe said the aim of the government was to limit expenditure, increase efficiency and live within means. He said this was the intention of the budget that was presented on Monday.
The President indicated that the budget was presented with a view of economic recovery and in line with the IMF expectations and the confidence in the country’s economic recovery was apparent with the recent investment made by the US International Development Finance Corporation and Adani Group of India in the Colombo Port West terminal. The President pointed out that such investments would not come if they did not have confidence in the country’s economy.
The President also said that the country should aim at being competitive in international trade as they intend to increase trade opportunities with the RCEP block, India, Bangladesh and the EU.
When asked as to how optimistic he was about the revenue target and projections of the government as there were no new tax proposals included in the Budget, President Wickremesinghe noted that tax collection had increased by 55 percent over the last year and that tax administration and collection would be made more efficient with the establishment of a Revenue Authority.