Sri Lanka PM calls on middle class to invest in stock market

Dec 03, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that the island’s mid income earners should be confident and not afraid to invest in the Colombo Stock Exchange.

“The middle class must have a bigger stake in the shareholding in this country,” he said.

“Over the last five years, there has been a concentration of wealth.’

He said that there have been questions of integrity but we have to address them.

“We can’t run away from this and once oversight committees of parliament are established next year we will go into the issues.”

He was speaking at a ceremony held in Colombo, Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of formally setting up the Colombo Stock Exchange.

The Prime Minister also said that the government may need to generate additional revenues next year to cover debt left over from the previous Rajapakse regime.

“We still don’t know how much of debt has been left behind by our predecessors and the government may have to bring a contingencies liability bill to parliament, sometime next year,” the Premier said.

“The parliament may have to make recommendations and decide how to raise additional revenues to pay for these expenditures.”

Earlier this week he said that he will seek an IMF bailout next year with more global volatility expected next year.

“Next year will present a difficult economic environment. Sri Lanka could face an impact of the ISIS in the Middle East, in case the region is destabilized,” Wickremesinghe said.

“I think it is prudent in the circumstances of the international developments that we start discussing a stand by arrangement with the IMF.”