Retailers’ Assn. raises growing concerns about state of retail sector | Daily News

Retailers’ Assn. raises growing concerns about state of retail sector

Dr. Roshan Perera addressing the SLRA Members’ Forum
Dr. Roshan Perera addressing the SLRA Members’ Forum

Members of the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) continue to raise growing concerns about the plight of the local economy and the impacts of the current economic conditions on the retail industry.

They addressed their concerns and questions to a panel of experts at the recently concluded SLRA Members’ Forum, an exclusive networking forum hosted by Committee of the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association, designed to bring together leaders in the retail industry with stakeholders in both private and public sectors of retail in Sri Lanka.

President SLRA Murali Prakash, said: “SLRA strategy was to engage the authorities on multiple levels, to bring about an understanding of retail trade, thereby enacting retail-friendly action.While we’ve had some success on the way, given the current externalities and issues faced by the sector, we would collectively and individually continue to push for a greater understanding of the sector with policymakers”, he said.

Economist, Public Policy Specialist and Senior Research Fellow at the Advocata Institute and Chief Guest Dr. Roshan Perera highlighted the features of the crisis such as high inflation rates, unsustainable fiscal deficits, external sector pressures and more, which need to be immediately addressed in order to stabilize the economy. Dr. Perera also highlighted the path of economic recovery that the government has put forward and the targets they have set in the medium term.

“Over the past year, we have seen an unprecedented level of inflation. This is due to monetary supply, domestic shock due to agriculture, external shocks such as the depreciation of the currency, the war in Ukraine which impacted food and energy prices, tax increases and more. However, it is forecasted that the inflation rate will gradually reduce in the near future and thus it was announced that the current level of inflation is to be maintained. Such has to be deemed a priority, as any gains from economic growth will dissipate due to the high living costs”, she said.

Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Guest of Honor Shiran Fernando said, “The pandemic shed a spotlight on many countries like Sri Lanka who have had fiscal and current account deficits and are currently enduring similar economic struggles. It is important that we endure and overcome the current crisis for the betterment of the country. We have pushed reforms such as State-Owned Enterprise Reform, Land or Labour Reform and more. We need to hold our policymakers accountable for the process so that these reforms are taken forward”, he stated.


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