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The Alliance for Economic Democracy observed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan of USD 1.5 billion obtained by the Government would result in the standards of living of the people being adversely impacted.

Convener of the Alliance, Amali Wedagedera said that it was primarily borrowings and also bad economic policies that had led to the current issue concerning the balance of payment, and therefore more borrowings would not help the country get out of the present crisis.

The IMF’s proposed medium-and long-term economic restructuring and reforms will only serve to aggravate the situation, she mentioned, adding that such policies will only serve to consolidate the neo-liberal regime.

Economics though practised as a very technocratic science is actually intrinsically linked to our daily lives, she pointed out.

Whatever development that has taken place is only superficial, therefore development must be people-centric, she remarked, adding that people especially groups such as fisher folk and farmers, who are excluded from the mainstream economic discourse, must be consulted on their needs, and greater accessibility for such groups to get involved in economic decision- making processes must be provided for and facilitated.

“Will the IMF loan and the agreement, its nature, the various conditions the IMF wants the Government to adopt, and the medium-and long- term impact on the economy, get the country out of the trap it is in or into the fire? The Government states that they have borrowed the said amount to help overcome the present crisis. It will only sink us further into the crisis and into a black hole,” Wedagedera emphasized.