Feb 10, 2017

Central Bank endorses the selling off the family silver

Facing an immediate cash flow problem’, Sri Lanka government is to sell the country’s non strategic assets to mete out debt commitments of US $ 2.6 billion for 2017 or even a part of it this year.

Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy told a Media conference recently that the government’s plan to sell those assets would be “tremendously beneficial” to assist in liability management.

The targeted earnings from the sale of non-strategic State assets including Hyatt, Hilton, Water’s Edge and Grand Oriental Hotel along with Lanka Hospitals and Mattala Airport could be over US $ 1 billion, he disclosed.

The Government has already indicated that it expects about $ 1.12 billion from the sale of the Hambantota Port to China Merchant Holdings, he pointed out.

Ceylinco Hospital and Mobitel could also be sold to earn much needed foreign exchange for the country.

Citing an example he noted that a middle class family which has to decide whether to sell its second three-wheeler or cut down on the health and education of the children, they have no alternative other than the selling of one of their three wheelers to off set their debts

Dr. Coomaraswamy said that Sri Lanka will have to take a similar decision to overcome the present debt trap.