Written by Tharushan Fernando
20 Oct, 2015 | 8:27 pm
Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, on Monday, spoke at a seminar titled Sri Lanka 2020: Potential for Investment. The seminar was organised by the Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council for the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The Minister of Finance stated:
What was within the 8 months to 9 months up to now, we have been on the spot, in the sense, our expenditure has been less than the revenues we intend getting. But what the budget deficit that was projected was 5.8, we reduced to 5.6, but we see that being, owing to certain expenditure that was not seen when we took over, expenditure made on agreements signed without cabinet approval was running to roughly in the range of about 280 billion.
He further stated:
Owing to that fact we find that the budget deficit would be somewhere in the range of about 6.8 or 6.9, I am a little concerned because I got my……. you know, the good journalists that are here, who would suddenly pick this up and say that this is the budget deficit. But I would basically call upon you all, also be responsible in it, because what we are doing at this particular moment is just getting the platform put into a correct state. So my feeling is in the range of 6.5 to 6.8.
Minister Karunanayake also said that Sri Lanka has earned more revenue in 2015 but public debt was very high. The Minister stated:
We have public debt which is extremely high and we have roughly 8.7 trillion and debt servicing which is equivalent to our total revenue, the revenues to GDP is roughly upon 10.65%.
He raised the question:
How can you afford to do this? But we have to do it because you can’t say that that is the inheritance and say we can’t go forward. You all had confidence in us. We have confidence in you.
MTV and MBC partnered the seminar as the electronic media sponsor.
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