Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
27 Jul, 2021 | 1:23 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): The $1 billion loan installment due for the foreign loans obtained by the government was settled, Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said on Tuesday (Jul. 27)
“With the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst the entire world is lamenting and there is a global economic collapse, we have maintained our cash flow in such a clever manner. The fact that we were able to settle the loan installment that was due yesterday (Jul. 26) without any issue in a very smooth manner serves as proof in this regard,” Keheliya Rambukwella, the Cabinet Spokesperson and Minister of Mass Media told reporters at the cabinet press briefing.
The Minister stressed that whilst everyone continued to level criticism, no one attempted to submit any proposals on how to settle the loans.
“Especially, those who claim to be Economic Experts from the Opposition continuously stated in parliament that the country is in a position where it’ll never be able to settle the loan installment due by the 26th of July since the foreign reserves had collapsed. Even the institutions that prepare Fitch Ratings also critically spoke about Sri Lanka’s economic issues. Various allegations were levelled against us in this manner, but no one attempted to submit any fair proposals,” Minister Keheliya Rambukwella pointed out.
According to the Cabinet Spokesperson, the issuance of Letters of Credit in the banking system and the importation of goods could be carried out without any obstacles starting from tomorrow.
Responding to a question raised on how the loan installment was settled, whether it was solely through the country’s foreign reserves or by obtaining another foreign loan, the Cabinet Spokesperson said “We need to clearly mention that it was settled based on measures undertaken to control the finances, in a manner where there was no impact on the foreign reserves.”
“At one point the foreign reserves were down to 1.2 billion, however, we managed to wage a war whilst also managing the cash flow and the foreign reserves. Thereafter, at the end we handed over the foreign reserves at 08 billion whilst the loans were limited to 71.6% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product,” Minister Keheliya Rambukwella elaborated, commenting on the official status of the foreign reserves.
The Minister shared these remarks at the cabinet media briefing held today (27).
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