Cost Increase

Former Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera returned to the post today, ending speculation that Presidential Advisor Mano Tittawella was up for the post.
Though familiar territory to Jayasundera, his initial tasks could include increasing the governments borrowing programme to foot the cost of the Alliances election promises.rn

rnIn addition, an increased borrowing programme could also put pressure on interest rates, pushing them into double-digit territory again from the current 7 per cent levels.rn

rnOnly earlier this year, the former government increased its borrowing programme by Rs. 22 billion to Rs. 87 billion to pay for additional subsidies and to meet revenue short falls. rn

rnAnalysts say an increased wage bill, higher agro subsidies and Samurdhi benefits among other welfare measures promised by the Freedom Alliance will require more funds, pushing up the Rs. 87 billion state-borrowing programme. rn

rnThe new government has also pledged to curtail the privatisation programme, further r