Sri Lanka entering 2013 with better prospects: Treasury Secretary

Jan 05, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is entering 2013 with an improving external environment, a stable exchange rate and favourable weather for agriculture, compared to last year, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. “Though there have been severe floods, the damage has been minimal as far as production activities are concerned,” Jayasundera told reporters.

“All reservoirs are full. In my judgment water resources that we have been blessed with in the last few weeks is worth about two billion dollars if somebody wants to put a number on that.”

He said about 70 percent of power was now hydro, tea and rubber production was good and the Maha (main) cultivation season would be “exceptional”.

In 2012 Sri Lanka has had 4.5 months of drought, which in addition to hurting rice and tea production had also hit power generation, he said.

Sri Lanka entered 2012 amidst a severe balance of payments crisis after the state manipulated energy prices with bank loans which were in turn accommodated by central bank credit (printed money) through sterilized foreign exchange sales.

Corrective measures were taken in February 2012 with energy prices hiked, interest rates raised and the currency floated to r