Govt has increased country’s debt by 25 per cent


By Harischandra Gunaratna

LSSP leader Prof Tissa Vitharane yesterday quoting the Central Bank Governor said the government had during the last two years had increased foreign debt by 25% and attributed it to the unity government’s ineffeciency and mismanagement.

Prof Vitharane told a news conference organised by Socialist Alliance at Dr N. M. Perera Centre, Borella that said the government was burdening masses with a plethora of indirect taxes such as VAT while asking the people to tighten their belts.

He said while it was asking the masses to tighten their belts was helping the rich to enjoy luxuries.

"Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe keeps warning that the country is heading for one of the worst economic crises with an alarming foreign debt, while the government had decided to release treasury bills to the tune of USD 2.5 billion at a high interest rate of 14 percent," he said.

In order to reduce the gap on the foreign debt. On the other hand the government was selling every possible state asset at will which was a violation of the rights of the people, he said.

The professor said the government had taken other loans from the Asian Development Bank and China at a very high interest rate to the tune of USD two billion as well, which would plunge generations to come in debt.

Vitharane said the Prime Minister kept harping that the government was getting foreign direct investment to hoodwink the masses, but the recent fitch ratings had warned that Sri Lanka was an economically unstable country.

"This is a figment of Wickremesinghe’s imagination as no foreign company or individual would want to invest here as the conditions are not conducive for any venture here", the former UPFA Minister said.

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