Oct 20, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister told Parliament Friday that they will introduce a comprehensive secondary market trading platform and a liability management fund for a prudent debt management strategy.
Making a statement in Parliament Ranil Wickremesinghe said, policies will be targeted on forward-looking liability management strategies and the funds required by the government will be raised with transparency and predictability.
“Under the medium – term debt management strategy, the detailed strategies of government borrowings will be known in advance to the domestic and foreign debt portfolios,” he said.
Prime Minister said these reforms and future reforms will come into effect under the new Fiscal Liability Management Act that provides legal framework for a prudent debt management strategy.
“With the reforms such as the new Inland Revenue Act, Foreign Exchange Act, Fiscal Liability Management Act, Corporate Intents of the State Owned Enterprises and close monetary-fiscal coordination, we will steer this country towards robust and judicious management of our financial resources and fiscal framework.”
Sri Lanka was able to sustain a steady GDP growth rate of 4.4 percent and to maintain the unemployment rate at 4.2 percent and to reduce the budget deficit to 5.4 percent.
In 2015, 90.6 percent of the Government total revenue was spent for debt servicing. This amounted to 80 percent in 2016.
“It is an urgent need to draw our attention on spending more than the revenue. We have initiated a process of fiscal consolidation based on revenue generation by passing the Inland Revenue Act, which is already yielding returns,”
The ratio of revenue to GDP in 2016 increased to 14.2 percent from 11.4 percent in 2014. For the first six months of 2017, revenue to GDP now stands at 6.7 percent of GDP from 6 percent in the corresponding period in 2016.
It is expected to reduce the current debt which is 79.3 percent of the GDP to 70 percent of GDP by 2020.
“We expect to maintain the budget deficit below 3.5 percent by then. We will strengthen the Fiscal Management Responsibility Act affirming our commitment towards fiscal consolidation.”