US$15 Bn needed for debt servicing: AG

Published : 9:10 am  February 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (86) reads | 

Untitled-9By Sandun A Jayasekera

Every Sri Lankan was indebted to the tune of Rs.417,913 by the end of 2016 and may have exceeded half a million rupees by now, making a five-member Sri Lankan family’s per capita indebtedness to pass the Rs.2.5 million mark, Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe said.

He said the per capita and national indebtedness of the country was the most serious setback to achieve sustainable development. He pointed out that even with an effective monetary policy, tax reforms and the enactment of the National Audit Act, it would take another ten years for Sri Lanka to come out of this mess.   


“Our debts and debt-servicing has not been properly audited to have a clear picture of our foreign debts. The situation is so grave that we have a colossal Rs.8.8 trillion of unidentified assets built on foreign loans obtained for capital investments,” the AG said.   


He said in addition, government and semi government institutions had obtained huge loans locally and were unable to repay.   


“For instance, the Road Development Authority’s (RDA) has a massive debt of Rs.136 billion and the Pensions Department Rs.37 billion,” the AG said and added that Sri Lanka would have to raise US$15 billion or more than Rs.2.25 trillion over the next four years for debt servicing as the grace period offered to Sri Lanka would expire in the next few years.   


“These debts are a burden to the government and if the National Audit Act had been enacted, the financial mismanagement in the state sector could have been prevented and a Central Bank bond scam would not have been heard of,” the AG said.   

 

 

 

Our debts and debt-servicing has not been properly audited to have a clear picture of our foreign debts. The situation is so grave that we have a colossal Rs.8.8 trillion of unidentified assets built on foreign loans obtained for capital investments