By Yohan Perera and
The Central Bank has once again misled the government by inducing it to go for International Sovereign Bonds (ISB) amounting to US$3.5 million at an interest rate of 8.5%, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament yesterday.
Taking part in the debate on the second reading of the Budget, he said the rates at which Sri Lanka had issued ISBs were high when compared to several other countries in the region.
The minister said Malaysia had issued ISBs at 3.75 per cent and Thailand 2.5 per cent.
“Sri Lanka could have gone for a rate less than five per cent if the CB had not mishandled the economy,” he said.
Responding to a question asked by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake whether he did not raise this matter in the Cabinet, the minister said he did not.
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 has become worse than the ones in the outstations. We see the roads being constantly dug up to lay pipelines and dug up again to lay power lines. Such work cost the country a huge amount of funds. This is a key area which the Government has to keep in mind to better manage the economy,” he said.