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Sri Lankan PM warns economic crisis will worsen

Sri Lanka’s prime minister warned that the island’s economic crisis will worsen, just days after the finance minister attempted to allay fears over the state of Sri Lanka’s economy.

Ranil Wickremesinghe told an audience that “economic sanctions imposed on Iran by USA and the high demand for oil as winter season approaches had also contributed to the crisis”. 

“US sanctions has a big impact as Iran produces 1.5 million barrels per day,” he added. “On top of that economic collapse of Venezuela another oil manufacturing country has also worsened the situation. We have to face this situation.”

“Some countries who have opted to stock oil had paid $ 90 a barrel while others are planning to pay $100 per barrel. These are counties which have a high export revenue. Countries such as Sri Lanka India and Pakistan has no high export revenue. Therefore we have to increase our export earning. We have to do it as there is no other option. Government has already curtailed imports but that cannot be done continuously” he added.

“We hope all parties will shed their political differences and support the government to overcome this crisis. Anyone can criticize the government but that won’t resolve the crisis.”

His comments come after finance minister Mangala Samaraweera claimed the ongoing economic crisis is "not as catastrophic as people make it out to be,"  as the rupee fell to an all time low earlier this week.