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SL’s foreign reserves drop to US$ 1.5 billion: Minister

9 December 2021 12:31 pm - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Whilst stating that Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves have dropped to approximately US $ 1.5 billion ($ 1587 million), State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe today said there are certain groups engaged in drug trafficking and arms rackets who are out to destabilize the country both politically and financially.

Responding to a question raised by MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake in the House on an earlier date, the State Minister said these groups are determined to destabilize the nation both in and out of Parliament.

“Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves stood at US$ 8.6 billion by end 2014 while it had dropped down to US$ 7.6 billion by the end of 2019. This has resulted in the increase of foreign debt services. Sri Lanka’s foreign debts was 42.4% of total debt services in 2014 while it had risen to 46.4% by end 2019. However the aim of our government is to limit total foreign debt service to 40% of the total debt services,” the State Minister said.

He said the government had to utilize the foreign reserves for the containment of COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly he revealed that Sri Lanka had spent a sum of Rs. 221 billion for the pandemic related expenses this year. We have managed to provide both jabs to 76.2%  of the population. This is higher than the global standards as only 55.3% of the global population, which are fully vaccinated at the moment.

“Sri Lanka is to go for a billion dollar currency SWAP with the Central Bank of Qatar and another US$ 400 million with India. In addition local commercial banks have been encouraged to go for a US$ 500 million currency exchange programme. In addition Sri Lanka is expected to earn a total export earnings of US$ 13 billion by the end of the year. Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa had managed to get into agreements with India for the purchase of essential goods and to purchase fuel. In addition the government hopes to securitize US$500 million foreign remittance,” the State Minister revealed.

“We hope these activities are going to be effective solutions to the current crisis and seek the support of the opposition as well. The opposition are welcome to come up with their proposals on this,” he said.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)


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  Comments - 11

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  • sam Thursday, 09 December 2021 01:09 PM

    Bring back the billions held by politicians

    Freddy Foxx Thursday, 09 December 2021 04:02 PM

    First get your priorities in order. You some times speak thru your posterior, if you get what I mean. A majority of these so call groups operate under the protection of your patriotic politicians,

    Dils6 Thursday, 09 December 2021 04:26 PM

    If robbed 18 billion dollars is confiscated by the state, we will have no proble8

    ding ding bell Thursday, 09 December 2021 06:54 PM

    Gota = brainless

    Gamini Thursday, 09 December 2021 08:19 PM

    The latest excuse for ever failure is "Saboteurs!" Also it sounds like money is raining from all over. Most of the pandemic money came as aid from overseas.

    Chux Thursday, 09 December 2021 08:51 PM

    Were you sleeping all these time??

    Mongol from Mongolia. Friday, 10 December 2021 06:31 AM

    This mongol semasinghe will next blame the UNP and SJB for the present crisis ! , Who was in power for the past 2 years mongol ! .

    Stink Friday, 10 December 2021 06:42 AM

    ...and there Minister in the Govt. whose bungling is draining our foreign reserves, you forgot to mention them. no?

    Seqi Friday, 10 December 2021 08:56 AM

    You are confusing the issue by mixing currencies...... stick to one or the other.

    Eper Friday, 10 December 2021 09:23 AM

    Corona is the cause of this destruction.We will bounce back once corona is overcome with Dollars from tourists and foreign employment remittances.

    june macapagal Friday, 10 December 2021 02:16 PM

    Suggest start begging mission to the African countries.


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