PM disputes borrowings doubled

Published : 9:00 am  June 23, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (333) reads | 

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BY KELUM BANDARA AND YOHAN PERERA With reference to the report that the Government had borrowed in excess of the limit approved by Parliament, Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that the Auditor General’s observation contradicted the reports of the Treasury and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

As a result, the Prime Minister said an explanation should be sought from the Auditor General in this regard, and the Public Finance Committee would do it. The Auditor General, in his report submitted to the House said though Parliament endorsed Rs. 1,780 billion to be borrowed, Rs. 3,349 billion had been obtained. Yet, Mr. Wickremesinghe said it could not be realistic as the interest rate should have risen much higher by this time, if such colossal borrowings had been made. “I, as the Minister in charge of the Economic Affairs, looked into it,” he said. He noted that the reports submitted by the Treasury and the IMF were in contrast to observations made by the Auditor General. “If a different auditing method were adopted, we should know whether it had been done with Parliamentary approval. The Treasury, and IMF give a different picture. We have to check it out. Otherwise, it is bad for the country,” he said.