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Fri, 18 January 2019 03:02:38
SAARC meetings begin in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo
27 Jul, 2008 13:30:30
July 27, 2008 (LBO) - A key committee of the South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation (SAARC) met in Colombo Sunday, kicking off proceedings in a regional confab that will peak in a summit meeting of the region's leaders.
The SAARC meetings in Colombo are held amid tight security with parts of the city closed to ordinary traffic.

Among the lofty goals of this year's meeting is to start discussions on a common currency for the region, Sri Lanka's foreign minister Rohitha Bogollama told media last week.

The region has seen chronically weak currencies since a raft of currency boards that kept the currencies stable and inflation low during British colonial rule were swept aside for money printing central bank in a fit of nationalistic fervour.

The area still seens high budget deficits and central bank accommodation of revenue gaps that has made currency crises almost routine.

Pakistan is even now in the midst of a minor currency crisis and Sri Lanka suffered one last year.

Countries such as Maldives have however managed their national currencies better and is now the richest state in the regional grouping.

The Programming Committee met Sunday at the Bandaranaike International Conference Hall (BMIC).

The 'Programming Committee' is made up senior officials of member states of Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.

It assists the 'Standing Committee' in overseeing the secretariat budget and goes through reports of technical committees and finalizes the calendar of activities of the regional grouping.

The Standing Committee is made up of foreign secretaries of member states and is in charge of overall monitoring and coordination of programs, approving projects, determining priorities and mobilizing resources and identifying new areas of co-operation.

The Standing Committee meets twice a year and submits its reports to the Council of Ministers.

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1. Jul 28
Do whatever but empower the nation with unity