Central Bank Governor Professor W.D. Lakshman yesterday said the European Union (EU) taking issue with Sri Lanka’s decision to restrict imports was an “overreaction”, and he was confident any issues could be resolved through discussions.
Responding to questions during an online press briefing to announce the latest monetary policy stance, Professor Lakshman insisted that restrictions were necessary to preserve precious reserves. He and other bank officials pointed out that as much as 65% of imports, especially intermediate goods, had not been restricted at all and only large cash flow items, such as vehicles were suspended.
“This was an overreaction by the EU and presented too early. These restrictions were imposed at a time when Sri Lanka is trying to resolve its balance of payments crisis and even under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) I believe it is accepted that countries can make certain adjustments. These issues can be resolved with the necessary parties and using diplomatic channels.
“I’m sure relevant parties of the Sri Lankan Government will be taking this matter up for discussions and such meetings can resolve these problems until we get out of our present difficulties,” said Professor Lakshman.