News

Government borrowing to continue

By Skandha Gunasekara
The Government would seek to borrow further funding to continue its development plans, The Morning learnt.

Government Spokesman and former State Minister of Investment Promotion Keheliya Rambukwella said that the
Government would be compelled to seek outside funding, foreign or domestic, for time-sensitive projects.

“If the Government is going to lose the project due to delays, i.e. if there are any time bars related to a project, then
it would either have to give up that (project) or borrow,” he said.

“Finally, all this will be under the scrutiny of the Auditor General,” he said.

Just last week, the Cabinet of Ministers gave approval to borrow an additional Rs. 31.7 billion from a domestic or foreign source.

“This Rs. 31.7 billion is the 15% share the Lankan Government was due to pay for the project. We are borrowing this
on a short-term loan to start this project which has been lagging past its commencement date due to the ineptness
of the Yahapalana Government,” Rambukwella said, adding that the Rs. 31.7 billion would be provided by a Chinese
source.

The Government is focussed on proceeding with several roadway and expressway projects.

However, earlier this week, the President called on state heads to look at foreign investments as opposed to foreign borrowings to carry out the country’s development agenda.