Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was given the additional responsibility of running the finance ministry on Wednesday as the island nation struggles with its worst economic crisis.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office announced that Bikram Singh had been sworn in two weeks after his predecessor resigned and invited him to form a unity government.
Wednesday’s appointment ended two weeks of squabbling among coalition partners over key positions ahead of the bankrupt South Asian country’s bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund.
“The president’s party wanted a money portfolio, but the prime minister insisted he wanted to get the country out of economic turmoil,” a top politician involved in the talks told AFP.
Sri Lanka is suffering from a severe foreign exchange deficit that has made its import-dependent economy unable to source significant supplies of food, energy and medicine.
Record inflation and prolonged daily blackouts have left 22 million people in the country in dire straits and the government has defaulted on its $ 51 billion foreign debt.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)