In light of the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka and rising inflation scenario in India, a social media post attributing a message to Sri Lankan Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe is being widely shared. The post explains the reasons which led to the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Criticizing the move of increasing the interest rates, in the message, Weerasinghe roots for high inflation, and allegedly says it would make people be more productive. Further, being critical of politicians doling out subsidies, he asks foreign countries and institutions to not lend to Sri Lanka. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Sri Lankan Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe comments on inflation, subsidies, and interest rates.
Fact: There are no reports attributing the viral message about inflation and subsidies to the Sri Lankan central bank governor. Also there are no reports attributing any similar comments in line with the claim to Weerasinghe. In fact, after taking charge as the central bank governor, Nandalal Weerasinghe doubled the interest rates to curtail the rising inflation rates, negotiated with foreign countries and financial institutions like IMF for loans, contrary to the arguments attributed to him. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
Following the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Nandalal Weerasinghe recently took charge as the governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka. However, there are no reports of Nandalal Weerasinghe making any such comments in line with those mentioned in the viral post. In fact, the central bank governor had announced a series of measures, which are contrary to the claims made in the post.
In the viral post, Weerasinghe roots for high inflation rates. However in his first press briefing after taking charge as the governor in early April 2022, he hinted at a raise in interest rates and subsequently, he doubled the interest rate to 14.50 percent to tame the high inflation rates.
In fact, Nandalal Weerasinghe in a lecture titled ‘Evolution of Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy in Sri Lanka’ in 2017 pointing out the adverse effects of hyperinflation and deflation, the current governor rooted for flexible targeted inflation, which is also followed by India.
Further, contrary to the claims made in the post, Sri Lankan government is in talks with the IMF for loans and the central bank governor is part of the team negotiating with IMF. Moreover, Sri Lanka has accepted lines of credit from foreign countries like India and China.
Also, we could not find any reports of Nandalal Weerasinghe being critical about politicians for doling out subsidies which according to the post is the primary reason for the current economic crisis. If indeed the central bank governor had made such comments, most media agencies would have reported it, however, we could not find any such reports.
To sum it up, the Sri Lankan central bank governor did not make these comments about inflation and subsidies.