Global lenders should look favorably on debtors, former PM Wickremesinghe says

Global lenders should look favorably on debtors, former PM Wickremesinghe says

Global lenders should look favorably on debtors, former PM Wickremesinghe says

Written by Hassaan Shazuli

15 Apr, 2020 | 10:03 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday said global lenders should look favourably on its debtors considering the economic impact of COVID – 19.

“Sri Lanka has to pay a billion dollars in a few months. We take it off our reserves and our reserves will come down,” Wickremesinghe, the leader of the centre-right United National Party told an interview with WION News.

The island nation was not among the 25 countries that were granted debt relief by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has also said it would delay issuing the final tranche of a 1.5 billion dollar loan facility to assist Sri Lanka’s debt repayments.

Sri Lanka’s attempt to raise 220 million dollars by issuing development bonds in late March failed after only 22.33 million dollars of bids came from investors.

“I can’t see any new money coming in,” the former Prime Minister who was dressed in a kit which resembled that of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

Wickremesinghe said that international authorities like the IMF, World Bank, WHO, and the UN have failed to lead the world during this crisis. “…a global pandemic needs a global response,” he stressed.

The former prime minister appreciated the government’s efforts in combatting the pandemic but said that medical supplies should have been arranged in January.

“We should have got more testing kits, more face masks, more ventilators and we delayed on that,” he said. We need to keep testing like Germany and South Korea”.

During the interview, Wickremesinghe struck a lighter note stating that he has been watching Hindi Bollywood movies during the lockdown.

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