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Sri Lanka to privatize its national airline

After India it is the turn of crisis ridden Sri Lanka to privatize their National airline, Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed selling off the state-owned Sri Lankan Airlines as part of efforts to stabilize the island nation's finances amid the ongoing economic crisis.

Sri Lankan Airlines incurring extensive losses

In a televised address to the nation on May 16th, Mr.Wickremesinghe said, "I propose to privatize Sri Lankan Airlines which is incurring extensive losses. The loss for the year 2020-2021 alone amounts to 45 billion Lankan Rupees . By March 31, 2021, the total loss was at 372 billion LKR according to Sri Lankan media reports.

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"Even if we privatize Sri Lankan Airlines, this is a loss that we must bear. You must be aware that this is a loss that must be borne even by the poor people of this country who have never stepped on an airplane."

Next couple of months will be the most difficult ones in the lives of all citizens

As the country is facing the worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, the Prime Minister said that the "next couple of months will be the most difficult ones in the lives of all citizens and the country must prepare to make some sacrifices and face the challenges of this period", reports Daily Mirror.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister said the country's central bank would have to print money to help meet the government's wage bill and other commitments.

Against my own wishes, I am compelled to permit printing money

"Against my own wishes, I am compelled to permit printing money in order to pay state-sector employees and to pay for essential goods and services. However, we must remember that printing money leads to the depreciation of the rupee," he said.

The island nation's economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, rising energy prices, and populist tax cuts. A chronic shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation had led to a severe shortage of medicines, fuel and other essentials.

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