Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today that the incumbent Government, having committed public funds to win elections, began the biggest borrowing spree in Sri Lanka’s history to meet the increased expenditure.
Issuing a statement, he said this Government had borrowed a total of around USD 19.5 billion in foreign commercial loans and well over six trillion in rupee loans from January 2015 to date.
He said following the recent increase in fuel prices, transport costs and the prices of goods and services had started rising.
The statement said:
“Fishermen are up in arms against the sudden increase in the price of kerosene by more than double the earlier price and the creation of a coupon system to distribute subsidized kerosene. In the midst of the agitation and unrest resulting from this fuel price increase, members of the government have been trying to justify it by saying that fuel costs were higher during the Rajapaksa Government. Today the price of a barrel of crude oil is around 70 USD. When I assumed office as President back in November 2005, it was around USD 73. It reached the highest point of USD 160 in June 2008 and even as late as August 2014, the price was over USD 103. It was only in the last three months of 2014 that oil prices started declining and by the time the Government changed in January 2015, it had gone down to USD 51 per barrel.
“From that point onwards, oil prices remained at a low level for three years. The prices kept declining and reached a low of USD 33 by February 2016. Thereafter oil prices increased slowly but even as late as October 2017, it was less than USD 55. It is only in the last few months that oil prices have steadily risen to reach the present level of USD 70. During the nine full years in which I ruled the country, we never had the benefit of low oil prices.
“The present price of USD 70 per barrel is quite low compared to the average price of crude oil during my government. Despite the highest global crude oil prices in history during those years, we not only won the war against terrorism which many people thought was unwinnable but also successfully concluded the biggest infrastructure building programme ever seen in this country since the colonial era. We were able to do all that while maintaining the fertilizer subsidy so as to shield farmers from the increasing prices of fertilizer. Despite high oil prices, my government was able to maintain the highest growth rates in Sri Lanka’s history and the per capita GDP increased threefold during my tenure in power.
The Yahapalana Government has had the benefit of very low crude oil prices and savings totalling more than USD five billion were made in foreign exchange over the past three years. Yet the economy has been in steady decline and development work ceased completely during that period. Last Saturday, the present finance minister said that if he had been holding that position in January 2015, he would not have given concessions to win ‘applause from the gallery’.
“Thereafter a UNP backbencher echoed much the same views. The reference made by the minister to ‘concessions given to win applause from the gallery’ was probably to the Rs.10,000 allowance for government servants and the reduction in the prices of fuel, gas and certain foodstuffs that were made by this government soon after winning the presidential election. All these were in fact pledges given in Maithripala Sirisena’s presidential election manifesto to win votes,” he said.
P.D. Dominic Wimalaratne Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:16
Have you forgotten - Namal daily flying to Nuwara-Eliya for horse ride through Helicopters and he was spending 4 million per month feeding his dogs kept in the A/C rooms in the temple trees. Whose money is this?.
Reply : 5 65
R. Thangavel Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:52
How many properties Basil and Gotta inherited from Businessmen threatening them, God will surely reward them soon.
Reply : 3 51
Janaka Bandara Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:54
Namal gets commission from so many businesses - all illegal income.
Reply : 3 39
TONY Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:18
ALTHOUGH WE ARE SOVEREIGN INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC WE ARE A DAMN POOR COUNTRY DEPENDED ON OTHER DONOR COUNTRIES
Reply : 0 35
Kadupol Jothywansa Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:22
Honestly Hon. MR, please tell us what is the percentage you got for your family when you get loans from China? Your son Namal too kept a huge percentage commission while purchasing vehicles from India. Do you need some more?
Reply : 5 49
R.K. Goplakrishnan (Lawyer) Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:32
Yes putha some more... some more... the entire nation and the world should know what MR did during his period of ruling.
Reply : 3 36
M.P.T. Sirisena Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:34
Yes, I am a retired Govt. Servant worked at the Treasury, according to my knowledge MR, Gotta and Basil gets 45% on all bank loans from China.
Reply : 5 47
M. Munasinghe Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:48
Yes true - Tata India had paid huge commissions (in billions) to Namal.
Reply : 3 40
BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 17 May 2018 10:06
Ha Ha I like the way this fellow makes statements like as if he never in the remotest possible manner did the same things.... someone needs to do a research on this.
Reply : 2 34
M.E. Ranaweera Thursday, 17 May 2018 10:20
Day time fellow in the temple, nights at Carlton or in his Colombo bungalows drinks up to his neck and shouts like a crazy dog.
Reply : 3 40
Boomarang Thursday, 17 May 2018 10:10
It is very pleasing to see the joyous face when when the country is going down the ditch.
Reply : 5 24
Soam Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:24
Sri Lanka economic situation is in a dire state. About 80% of Sri Lankan GDP - Gross Domestic Produce ( total value of everything produced by all the people and companies in Sri Lanka ) is about few ten billions, is paid as interest on borrowed loan mainly from China. What is left is not to distribute across. Therefore, simple and disastrous way is to borrow more. Thank to MR, Sri Lanka is going to be in this quagmire for decades to come, unless drastic austerities measures are introduced soon.
Reply : 2 24
Warren Raed Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:33
Why? Weren't you the one who inroduced the Borrowing Spree when you were in power?
Reply : 2 34
R.Anthony Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:37
"Look who's talking" !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply : 2 28
sampath Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:39
so MR seems to be very happy for once
Reply : 2 17
Sanath Thursday, 17 May 2018 13:01
Better if this person keeps his big mouth shut.
Reply : 1 23
K. C. John Thursday, 17 May 2018 16:18
Amnesia / Dementia / being a compulsive liar - what is this fellow suffering from?
Reply : 1 18
Jaliya Thursday, 17 May 2018 20:02
He is suffering from depression after looking at his bank account with a magnifying glass .. the numbers are BIGGER but the amounts are smaller.
Reply : 1 11
SRI LANKAN Friday, 18 May 2018 09:00
HEY,MAHINDA RAJAPAKASE WHAT DID YOU DID WHEN YOU WERE IN OFFICE AS PRESIDENT ? YOU GAVE CHANCES TO ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS CHANCE TO ROB AND WHAT YOU DID FOR THE COLLECTION YOU RECEIVED FOR THE TSUNAMI TIME ABOUT 10,MILLION US WHEN MADAM CHANDRIKA WAS IN POWER AFTER YOU WERE IN OFFICE WHERE ARE ALL THE US DOLLERS YOU COLLECTED GIVING THE HAMBANTOTA TO CHINA AND NOW YOU TALKING NONSENSE OF THIS GOVERNMENT
Reply : 1 6
SRI LANKAN Friday, 18 May 2018 09:09
when you were elected as our President all Sri Lankan was expecting good of you that became verse after you got all your family to join you they did the mischief work you to loose you should not have contested again now you are only a member of parliament that shows your greediness and to save you bad work but remember the world LAUGHING saying you been demoted DISGRACES
Reply : 0 3
Vasa Friday, 18 May 2018 16:08
Master Rogue is talking.what you mismanaged has to be borne by the people.
Reply : 0 1
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