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Stats on SL Treasury Bills Reveal Gravity of Economic Crisis

Treasury Bills to the value of Rs.1,206 billion were issued to the CBSL in the 551 days since CBSL’s Covid-driven monetary accommodation of the Government, from 13th March 2020 to 14th September 2021 while Professor W D Lakshman was Governor, at an average of Rs.2.2 b per day. As a result, the Treasury Bills holdings of the Central Bank increased to Rs.1,284 b by 14th September 2021.

Thereafter, during Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal’s term of about 203 days from 15th September 2021 to 5th April 2022, the Treasury Bill holdings of the CBSL increased by Rs.446 b at an average of Rs.2.2 b per day, to reach Rs.1,730 billion.

Since then, under Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe, a further Rs.244 b has been added to the CBSL Treasury Bill holdings upto 20th May 2022, at an average Rs.5.4 b per day, to reach Rs.1,974 b, even after the CBSL policy rates had been increased by an unprecedented 7% and Sri Lanka has not paid back any Forex debt during that 45 day period.

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