Sri Lanka finds more hidden dues of past regime: Ravi Karunanayake

Ravi-Karunanayake

Mar 01, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has uncovered more dues of the past regime which will affect public finance, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

According to Karunanayake, Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s ministry has recently revealed that they have a burden on bills to pay an additional 5,423 million rupees.

With this new addition government has to pay a total of 1,151 billion rupees as unpaid bills of the previous regime.

The minister said that out of this amount, around 60 percent would be foreign debt.

Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said that this amount also includes liabilities of hedging and SriLankan Airlines.

Finance Minister said the loss in SriLankan Airlines is over 200 billion rupees and contingent liabilities are over 60 billion rupees.

He revealed that they have paid around 110 billion rupees last year from the total overdue.

“When we took over the economy we knew that it was an absolute disaster but we never knew that it will be concealed to this stage,” Karunanayake said.

“Even the IMF was not aware that there was such an undisclosed amount of debt in the country. They had to accept it and we don’t want to hide anything,” he said.

“The IMF is to send a separate forensic team to investigate this matter. We said we’ll pay for them. We also want to take the issue to Parliament.”

A special paper will be presented to the cabinet with newly discovered details asking the ways and means to pay these bills.

Karunanayake said most of these concealed contracts signed on behalf of the government have not followed necessary tender procedures or procurement processes.

Minister added that there are lots of provincial roads that have been offered unsolicited contracts.