Govt. should state how it will settle foreign debt services: Harsha

Highlighting that Sri Lanka’s foreign debt services which has to be settled as of J December this year had reached $6 billion, SJB MP Harsha de Silva today urged the government to state as to how it is going to settle them.

Dr. de Silva alleged during a press conference that an international sovereign bond issue which Sri Lanka went into in 2011 and another issue which the country went into in 2012 will mature this year while the government will have to make payments for the SWAP arrangements it has got into this year.

“The sovereign bond issue the government went into was at the rate of 6.25 per cent, while the rate for the sovereign bond issue in 2012 was 5.88 per cent. In addition, the government will have to settle what it had borrowed from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank while it has to make payments for the SWAP agreements it had got into with local state banks,” the MP said.

“Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves were $5.7 billion as of December 31 last year while the Central Bank had notified that the reserves stood at $4.8 billion as of February 1 this year.

In addition, a sum of $400 million borrowed has to be settled this year. Also, another 400 million has to be settled to the IMF. All these transactions had resulted in Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves going down less than $3 billion. One wonders as to how the remaining debt services that have to be settled this year is to be done,” he added.

“A Minister in the government has claimed that Sri Lanka will settle the debt services without a problem but how can it be in this situation,” he questioned.(Yohan Perera)

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