Mounting loan , interest repayments to be financed by USD 1.5 billion sovereign bond issue

*Public , Provincial Council Cadres being reviewed
*1000 new buses through Indian Line of Credit


by Zacki Jabbar


With Rs. 1,480 billion required to repay loan and installments for 2017, the government has decided to finance it, by the issue of international sovereign bonds amounting to USD 1,500 million.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Gayantha Karunathillake told a news conference in Colombo on Wednesday, that the proposal to issue U.S dollar sovereign bonds, made by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was approved by the Cabinet.

" According to the Appropriation Bill, the balance outstanding of government’s maximum borrowings for the financial year 2017 is Rs. 1,579.11 billion. It has been estimated that Rs. 1,480 billion is required for re-payment of loan installments and interest" ,he noted.

Karunathillake said that the Cabinet of Ministers had also endorsed another Memorandum submitted by Karunanayake to conduct a review of the Cadre in public institutions.

The Finance Minister pointed out that although the public sector had expanded at the ratio of one public servant for every 15 citizens, annual goals had not been attained resulting in people’s appreciation of the public service diminishing. "Moreover, there is a deficit of officers in rural areas and in some urban areas there are more than the required number of officers. In addition there are a large number of primary level employees compared to tertiary and senior level officers."

The review to be conducted by the Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Administration and Management, National Salaries and Cadre Commission and the Finance Commission , he noted would determine the cadre requirements of the public service and Provincial Councils.

Karunathillake said that the purchase of 1000 new buses with a view to encouraging people to use public transport instead of private vehicles, which had caused heavy traffic jams especially in Colombo and suburbs, proposed by the Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was among the other proposals that received Cabinet approval.

Nine hundred 40-46 high back seater (2x2) buses and 100 new low floor air conditioned buses would be purchased through the Indian Line of Credit , he said.

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