The main opposition UNP yesterday charged that the devaluation of the Sri Lankan rupee at the recent Budget has resulted in the country’s public debt burden increasing by a further Rs. 81 billion, the UNP said yesterday.
UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said the country’s public debt burden had risen to Rs. 5,200 billion though the government put the figure at Rs.4,800 billion. He said of this amount 52 per cent was external borrowings.
“With the devaluation of the rupee by three rupees, the rupee component of external borrowings will increase by another Rs.81 billion. This is a serious situation,” he said.
Mr. Karunanayake said the government devalued the rupee to suit the interests of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and it would have dire consequences on the economy of Sri Lanka.
Already, two government ministers - Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Prof. Tissa Vitarana have expressed concern over the devaluation. However, the other government ministers supported the decision saying it would increase export revenue in terms of the rupee value.
Attempts to reach Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal for a comment in this regard failed. (Kelum Bandara)