JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake today alleged that the government had issued international sovereign bonds worth US$2.4 billion at high interest rates, similar to what happened during the Central Bank bond scam.
He told parliament that the CB had issued international sovereign bonds worth US$1 billion with a maturity period of five years at an interest rate of 6.85 per cent with another US$1.4 billion with a maturity period of 10 years at an interest rate of 7.81 per cent.
"Several other countries had also issued international sovereign bonds recently. Vietnam has issued international sovereign bonds at an interest rate of 4.78 per cent, Thailand at an interest rate of 2.51 per cent, Greece at an interest rate of 3.84 per cent and Bolivia at an interest rate of 5.27 per cent. Why has Sri Lanka issued international sovereign bonds at higher interest rates," the MP asked.
Participating at the second reading of the budget debate, he said there appears to have been a scam similar to the Central Bank bond scam and added that at the end of the day it were the people who have to bear the burden.
He said the finance minister should make a statement on this matter in the House and added that the government had not made any proposals to rescue the country from the economic and social crisis.
"The elected government is responsible for formulating strategies to pull the country out of the economic and social crises. The biggest economic crisis was the debt crisis. But the government has dragged the country into more debts through the budget instead of finding solutions to save the country,"the MP said.
"The budget has proposed to obtain a loan of Rs.2,200 billion. The country has to pay Rs.2,200 billion for debt servicing this year. It is similar to the entire government expenditure," he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)