Governor Cabraal Refutes Presidential Claim

Former Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal issued this statement following President Sirisena’s statement yesterday.

“President Sirisena’s statement that only Rs.1 Trillion out of foreign loans of Rs.10 Trillion is accounted for, during the period of the previous government is ridiculous and untrue. It may even be bordering on lunacy, particularly considering that Sri Lanka’s GDP in 2014 was only Rs.10.3 Trillion, and if what the President claims is correct, the unaccounted loans will amount to a staggering 90% of GDP!

Although the President may have made this irresponsible statement to sling mud at the previous regime as he regularly does, I do not think he realizes the grave danger that he is imposing on our economy with media releases of this nature.

In that context, as the Governor of the Central Bank from 2006 to 2014, I urge all foreign investors who invested in Sri Lanka’s Government Securities at our invitation from 2006 to 2014 not to panic, since President Sirisena’s statement is without any foundation whatsoever. I also assure them that Sri Lanka has diligently and faithfully recorded all foreign borrowings in accordance with our laws and regulations as well the terms of issue, during the time of the previous Government.

I also condemn this reckless statement, and call upon the President and his Government to desist from making statements of this nature that will surely damage the good name of our economy, which has been built up over the years with great care and dedication by thousands of responsible public servants and a dynamic private sector.”

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