Economy at stake, foreign debt service US$ 6 Bn: Harsha

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Sri Lanka could fall as a nation considering the high foreign debt service which had come up to US$6 billion and few options available to generate funds to pay the due instalments during this year and the coming years, UNP MP Harsha De Silva said yesterday.

Dr. De Silva told a press conference yesterday that Sri Lanka’s total foreign debts which had come up to US$6 billion while the country will have to meet funds to pay the due instalments and interests in 2020, 2021, 2022 and in the year 2023.

He said the issue would be to decide on ways and means to generate funds to meet these due payments during the given years.

“Sri Lanka will have no option but to go to a foreign market to generate funds but it would be a difficult task given the country’s credit ratings which had come down to the category of B when it comes to foreign credit ratings. In such a scenario foreign borrowing will be a difficult task for the country,” Dr. De Silva said.

He noted that Sri Lanka’s ratings went down during the constitutional crisis in the year 2018. Also, he said the reduction of taxes will also contribute to the turbulent situation as the country had lost revenue earnings.

Besides Dr. De Silva said the previous government brought in the Liability Management Act to work towards delivering the country from the debt trap but it is not clear whether this legislation will be used as the people of this country had elected a new government.

“We do not know as to what situation the new government would bring the country given the circumstances. Government is hell-bent towards securing a two-thirds majority at the next General Elections and therefore one does not know what would become of the country,” he added.