Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Wickremesinghe receives additional charges from the Ministry of Finance

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Photo: Reuters

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Photo: Reuters

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was given the added responsibility of leading the finance ministry on Wednesday as the island nation grapples with the worst economic crisis in its history.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office announced that Wickremesinghe had been sworn in, two weeks after he was asked to form a unity government after his predecessor resigned.

Wednesday’s nomination ends two weeks of wrangling between coalition partners for the crucial position ahead of bailout talks for the bankrupt South Asian nation with the International Monetary Fund.

“The president’s party wanted the finance portfolio, but the prime minister insisted he wanted it if he wants to pull the country out of economic chaos,” a senior politician involved in the disputes told AFP. negotiations.

Sri Lanka suffers from a severe shortage of foreign exchange which has made its economy dependent on imports unable to supply itself with foodstuffs, fuel and medicines.

As a result, the country’s 22 million people endured severe hardship, with record inflation and long daily power cuts, and the government defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt.