Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today the 1.12 billion USD earned from the lease of the Hambantota port was to go to the treasury to meet the day to day expenditure of the government instead of paying the loan taken to build the port.
“The government will not be using the 1.12 billion USD that comes from the lease of the port to pay the loan taken to build the port. Instead the money is to go to the treasury to meet the day to day expenditure of the government. The USD 1.12 billion raised from the privatisation of the Hambantota port is small change for this government and will soon vanish just like the USD 13.7 billion they raised earlier, “he said.
“As public indignation mounts at the manner in which the Hambantota port was privatised, yahapalana ministers are now going around saying that my government too had planned to sell the entire Hambantota port to the Chinese. This is a diabolical lie. Everyone knows that my government had an explicit anti-privatisation policy. Not only did my government refrain from privatising any State assets, we reacquired several important assets that had been privatised by previous governments,” he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa said if things continued in the present manner, Sri Lanka would not have any national assets left by the time this government completed its tenure.
“The people should band together and organise in the villages, towns and workplaces to oppose this government’s quest to sell Sri Lanka off to foreign buyers,” he said.
He said in a statement that the manner in which the government privatised the Hambantota port had shocked the nation and added that Parliament was not allowed to debate the Agreement to privatise one of Sri Lanka’s most important strategic assets.
“No one knows who did the valuation of this asset. No one appears to have seen any technical/financial evaluation report. The government has also not explained to the public on what criteria they selected the company that won the bid when there was clear evidence that the other bid was much more favourable. This headlong quest to sell state assets is a direct result of the economic crisis that the government has plunged this country into. After the yahapalakayas lied their way to the presidency in January 2015, they knew it would not be possible to win the parliamentary election that was soon due by the same means, so they increased the salaries of government servants, reduced the price of fuel, gas and certain foodstuffs in order to bamboozle the people in a different way,” he added.
Mr. Rajapaksa said that the government had increased government expenditure while simultaneously reducing revenue, creating the present financial crisis.
According to the Auditor General’s reports, the Budget deficit which was 5.7% of the GDP in 2014, had almost doubled to 10.5% in 2015 in just one calendar year. The lack of money to meet day to day expenses including the salaries and pensions of state sector employees resulted in massive foreign currency borrowings. In just two and a half years, the yahapalana government has taken foreign currency loans amounting to over USD 13.7 billion. All this money has been spent on consumption. USD 13.7 billion is the equivalent of ten Norochcholai power plants or ten Hambantota Ports, or more than twenty Southern Highways. But the government has nothing to show for all this money that has been borrowed and spent,” he said.
He said under IMF instructions, the value added tax and other taxes were increased in 2016 to raise money to repay these debts.
“After imposing taxes even on terminally ill patients, the government was still not able to raise enough money to repay the USD 13.7 billion they borrowed and they have now resorted to increasing non-tax revenue through the sale of state owned assets,” he said.
He said the Budget proposals of the yahapalana government make it clear that they intend privatising all state owned assets ranging from non-strategic business establishments like the Colombo Hilton to strategic assets like the Norochcholai power plant and that the sale of the Hambantota port was just the beginning.
“The Prime Minister has already announced that the Mattala airport would be next. Other assets like the Colombo -Katunayake Highway, Southern Highway, Water Board and Electricity Board are also due to be privatized,” he said.
there is no need for them to do all these , if you
sach Wednesday, 02 August 2017 06:42 AM
yeah finish the war and developed the country with loans..right?
ceylon Tuesday, 01 August 2017 09:46 PM
give back the billions you stolenthen srilanka can become debt free country. via DM Android App
Sri Lankan Wednesday, 02 August 2017 06:22 AM
Quite so ! Why didn't you buy the Port?
Leo Tuesday, 01 August 2017 09:53 PM
Mr. Minister Rajapakse you are right in saying that you must go to villages they will believe all your diabolical statements yet you cannot hoodwink the majority as it is now clear whose expenditure and whose limitless loans dragged this country to the brink of a major financial crisis. via DM Android App
palle Tuesday, 01 August 2017 11:03 PM
Don't just believe the lies this government is propagating. Read CB reports yourself, learn a bit about GDP to debt ratio, and learn why foreign reserves declining since 2015.
Chris Wednesday, 02 August 2017 06:17 AM
Palle. Please talk sense, what is the use of obtaining loans from IMF to boost reserves. They are still not money owned but owed.
Bala Tuesday, 01 August 2017 09:58 PM
I have heard the phrase lying through the teeth but this is lying through every pore. How can you say : No one appears to have seen any technical/financial evaluation report. What did you do for the Uma Oya project when you gave a water tunnel construction to an Iranian desert tunnel construction firm. The People of that area are still suffering with no water and devastated homes What about the sixteen acres you sold outright to Shangri La from Army HQ prime land.
Mohan Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:54 PM
It was you who created these loss making entities by using massive debts. Who made the Emirates leave Sri Lankan Airline? SriLankan airline is still making huge losses.Please don't try to hoodwink people.
Sarra Goyya Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:54 PM
Yes, to pay off your DEBT and the commissions you pocketed in from your mega deals. But, where is the money you earned by selling acres of govt. land to the Chinese? Where did you hide it?
ceylon Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:57 PM
what you did was privertised billions to your secret accounts. via DM Android App
Premalal Tuesday, 01 August 2017 11:21 PM
Why are you worried man? You and your family including your extended family earned big bucks not small change. This put the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Chinese work hand in hand with likes of you so that they can get a foothold in the country and they have thanks to your insatiable greed. Don't you forget that you even tried to plunder the aid given to unfortunate Tsunami victims. The only saving grace you have is crooked minded Prime Minister and a gutless President in power. Hope you enjoy the rest of your life because the next one if there is one will not be pleasant..
sach Wednesday, 02 August 2017 06:46 AM
compare the country in 2005 and 2015..i cant believe people are this stupid
Mevan Wednesday, 02 August 2017 12:07 AM
You are now talking about expenses of this govt. During your regime nobody could talk about anything and those did, like journos are still missing. Intelligent people of this country will never tolerate dictators and royal families.
Stunned Citizen Wednesday, 02 August 2017 01:34 AM
Dear Ex-President,Had your government done an honest feasibility study we won't have had to deal with this mess. all this allowed our country to be plundered and pillaged by politicians such yourself.
sach Wednesday, 02 August 2017 06:50 AM
This is nothing to do with Hambanthota port projects feasibility.....this gov is selling everything for day to day expenditure
Ashley Wednesday, 02 August 2017 01:42 AM
NO ONE SHOULD TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY AS HE IS NOW A BILLIONAIRE SO THE FAMILY. TECHNOCRATS HAVE CLEARLY STATED WHERE THE FINANCES OF THE COUNTRY WAS WHEN HE LEFT. SADLY YAHAPALANAYA ALSO PRODUCED ROGUES
jiffry Wednesday, 02 August 2017 03:31 AM
Wow all these happening because of you and your family. These talks good for the villagers and not for the majority of the country. You started with Tsunami fund and then..
sach Wednesday, 02 August 2017 06:50 AM
DIFF Wednesday, 02 August 2017 08:47 AM
@ Sach: destroying LTTE is totally different from robing the country.
Kiris Baba Amaray Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:10 AM
Ha..Ha..Ha... Mahinda thinks that the entire SriLankan populations are keeping flowers on their ears, the public proved that he is a fool.
Aladeniya Kirimathaya Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:13 AM
MR offered Lip sticks and Q-tex to the villages and finally lost the General Election, this is a good example.
S.P.RAMKUMAR Wednesday, 02 August 2017 07:01 AM
Yes that is true, because interest on debt and debt repayments also Government expenditure.
Sincere Wednesday, 02 August 2017 08:57 AM
That's good, without them going into Siriliya's unlike before!
Lion Viswanathan Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:02 AM
Ok Mahinda, if so, return all the money you robbed in billions to the Govt. and support the development of our country, then may be (not sure) your son will have a chance.
cheers Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:04 AM
Your comments are going to hurt maithree and Ranil and when your name is heard these tow shivers and know in the next govt they are all going in with their families for all the sins they made from 2015 to now
Dr. A.C.B. Jayaweera Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:04 AM
Hay Mahinda you robbed the public money in billions and billions from this project and everything went to your pocket and family members pockets. Please don't lie man.
J Palitha Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:07 AM
Mr. Rajapakshe you earned every single cent illegally to develop your family and not the nation and from H'tota you earned so many billions as commission from China.
Manuel Benjamin Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:19 AM
Mahinda bear it in mind, Yahapalanaya Govt. first looked into the welfare of the people and increased their salaries, reduced the food items and gas including Petroleum products, you only robbed with your family members and your JO rotters, now shut up.
Amar Wednesday, 02 August 2017 09:24 AM
Wow is he talking about corruption ? let me sit down, before my A
ananda Wednesday, 02 August 2017 11:49 AM
Mahinda you cannot bluff the people any more. You have done enough damage and embezzled the countrys resources with your siblings and your hang ons. via DM Android App
lion Wednesday, 02 August 2017 11:50 AM
Asaw asaw Bodilima Veedi basi
whateverthechoice Wednesday, 02 August 2017 01:51 PM
Read the article "Chinese ambassador calls for direct use of RMB in trade with Lanka"
sunil Wednesday, 02 August 2017 02:33 PM
In colombo, There are palace and T.. trees, let them to privatise those all also as thosai kadai and manage day to day expenses of treasury.
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