The Central Bank has once again misled the government by making it go for a US $ 3.5 million International Sovereign Bonds (ISB) issue at 8.5 per cent, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament today.
Speaking during the second reading debate in the House, Mr Karunanayake said the rates at which Sri Lanka had issued ISBs were high compared to several other countries in the region.
He said Malaysia had issued ISBs only at 3.75 per cent, Thailand 2.5 per cent.
“Sri Lanka had issued ISB at a high rate whereas other nations in the region,” Mr Karunanayake said.
“Sri Lanka should have gone for a rate less than five per cent if not for the mishandling of the economy by the Central Bank,” he added.
Responding to a question raised by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake as whether he did not question this ISB in the government, Mr Karunanayake said he did speak about it in Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the Minister called for the setting up of common corridors to avoid excess expenses when providing infrastructure facilities.
“The condition of the roads in Colombo had become worse than the ones in the outstations. We see constant digging of roads today. Roads are dug to lay pipelines and dug as soon as they are filled once again to lay power lines. Such exercises cost the country a huge amount of funds. This is a key area which the government has to keep in mind if we are to manage the economy,” he said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)