- Calls on Govt. to explain debt management plan to public
- Wants action plan to be presented to public
- Warns SL has to repay $ 10 b until 2023
- Questions whether Govt. will ban imports to facilitate debt payments
- Concerned situation will worsen if rating agencies downgrade SL again
Calling for clarity on how Sri Lanka will finance its debt commitments, United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday urged the Government to present their action plan for economic recovery, warning that public finance was in a dire state.Former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, in a statement to the media, called upon the Government to refrain from allowing the upcoming debt servicing to impact the lifestyle of the people of Sri Lanka.
Speaking further, Wickremesinghe explained that in the past several years, debt servicing has been ongoing, but it has been done without any restrictions imposed on the goods and services in the country.
“From now until 2023, Sri Lanka has debt servicing of up to $ 10 billion. This year alone Sri Lanka has to pay $ 3 billion in debt, and on a single day in October the country has to pay $ 1 billion,” the statement said.
Wickremesinghe questioned the Government as to where they will raise the necessary foreign exchange and whether or not they will be banning imports to finance these debts.
Highlighting that the price of goods was increasing and the Government was unable to provide the public with the financial relief promised, Wickremesinghe urged the Government to present their plan of action for economic recovery.
Drawing attention to the recent reports from international media organisations, it was stated that several countries, including Argentina, have defaulted on their debt repayments. Wickremesinghe further explained that these reports have highlighted Sri Lanka as the only country outside of Latin America that is in danger of defaulting on their debt repayment.
Explaining that Fitch Ratings has already downgraded Sri Lanka, Wickremesinghe went on to state that Moody’s and Morgan Stanley are also in danger of downgrading the country’s credit rating. He went on to say that according to The Economist magazine, Sri Lanka’s economy is considered the most stressed economy in South Asia.
Wickremesinghe urged the Government to address these urgent financial concerns in the country, and present to the public the plans they have for fiscal policy and increasing public revenue. He concluded by urging the Government to allow the true facts of the current situation to come out, and allow the public to know what remedy the Government will pursue.