Oct 22, 2017

79.3 pc of GDP is debt – Champika Featured

According to minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, 79.3 per cent of the GDP in Sri Lanka is debt burden.

In the past decade, 90 pc of the state revenue was spent on repaying loans and interest, he says, adding that Sri Lanka is in 143rd position among a list of 193 countries faced with debt burdens.

Also, Sri Lanka is placed 91st among 95 countries when it comes to the loan repayment ability, says the minister.

He calls for a proper identifying of the priorities when improving transport and roads, and notes the development priorities as water for drinking and irrigation, housing, lavatories, health services and education.

Failure to manage investments will take the country further into debt, says Ranawaka, noting that expressways too, could become a white elephant, like the Hambantota port and the Mattala airport.

Champika questions the investments on expressways, noting that three-times the spending on education and health had gone to build expressways.

Rs. l,700 billion on roads

Between 2005 and 2016, the spending on expressways and highways was Rs. 1,700 billion, he says.

During the same time, health and education received Rs. 588 b, housing and urbanization less that Rs. 50 b.

This investment has helped Sri Lanka to gain the 34th position in the highways quality, but, that has come with a massive cost for health and education, he adds.