Sri Lanka To Defer Debt Payments Until 2027

Sri Lanka To Defer Debt Payments Until 2027

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a strategic decision to defer debt payments until 2027, has been made.

Speaking at an event in Colombo, the President said that though interest payments are required to be made, during the said period, the debt need not be serviced.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the “Leslie Devendra Sinhavalokanaya” ceremony,at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Deshbandu Leslie Devendra’s career.

"We have made the strategic decision to defer debt payments until 2027, focusing on renegotiating repayment terms to extend until 2042. Our aim is to safeguard the country’s economy from collapse under the weight of debt burdens. However, reliance on imports may necessitate further borrowing, prompting us to prioritize strategies for repayment," said the President, as quoted by the President's Media Division.

"Moreover, we have opted to restrict domestic borrowing, affecting the availability of funds from institutions like the Employee Provident Fund. This prompts considerations on whether to invest domestically or internationally, sparking discussions within the trade union movement," added the President.

The President has said that the government is committed to fortifying key institutions such as the People’s Bank, the Bank of Ceylon, and the National Savings Bank while maintaining government ownership, and also aim to secure government influence in limited and private banks to bolster the financial sector and propel economic growth.

"Acknowledging the plight of our citizens, we are mindful of the escalating poverty rate, which has surged from 15% in 2019 to 26% presently. Addressing this challenge requires concerted efforts to provide livelihood opportunities and enhance access to education for all segments of society. Accordingly, we have agreed to reduce it to 10% by 2032, as stipulated in the loan conditions set by the International Monetary Fund. Therefore, we must persist with this program," the President said.