Changing Tide

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Treasury Secretary Dr. P B Jayasundara says the government’s mid-term borrowing programmes will avoid crowding out the market, releasing the funds for the private sector to borrow. Treasury Secretary Dr. P B Jayasundara says the government’s mid-term borrowing programmes will avoid crowding out the market, releasing the funds for the private sector to borrow. Jayasundara told journalists on Friday that the proposal was in line with the government’s policy to cap or even cut back on its domestic borrowing programme next year.

For this year, the Treasury will stick to the budgeted Rs. 65 billion net borrowing programme and not exercise the Rs. 20 billion additional provision included by the UNF govenment prior to the April polls.

Any increase in the budget deficit will be instead, financed through an increase in tax and non-tax revenue, foreign currency and institutional borrowing.

Since January, the government retired some of its domestic borrowings, opting for dollar bond issue and donor funds, to avoid pressure on the local debt market.

The Treasury is also keen to increase the Government’s non-tax revenue base, which currently accounts for less than 5 percen