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Govt settles a total of US$1.9 billion despite defaulting $6 billion since 2022.

By: Staff Writer

April 09, Colombo (LNW): The government announced that it has been successful in settling a total of US$1.9 billion (US$ 1909.7) million in foreign debt and interest payments within a time-frame of about 19 months although Sri Lanka has defaulted. US$ 6 billion starting from April 2022.

United Republican Front (URF) leader Patali Champika Ranawaka said Sri Lanka defaulted on a payment of $ 6 billion starting from April 2022 when the country announced bankruptcy.

He said this was the reality though the Central Bank data show the increase of foreign reserves to $ 5 billion.

“While CBSL data shows Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves reaching $5 billion, it is imperative to understand that from April 2022, the sum of defaulted debt is approximately $ 6 billion. The sum of loans obtained since the default from the World Bank, ADB, and IMF is $3 billion,” he posted on X.

From 21 July 2022, to February 2024, the government has disbursed US$ 1.34 bilion ($1338.8 million) in multilateral loans and interest, with no outstanding arrears in loan installments or interest payments, President’s Office Community Affairs Director General Rajith Keerthi Tennakone said.

Addressing a press conference, he shared that according to the Department of External Resources data, payments totaling US$ 760.1 million have been made to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and US$ 7.0 million to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Additionally, payments of US$ 22.3 million have been made to the European Investment Bank, US$ 17.9 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and US$ 9.8 million to the EFF 23-26 programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Furthermore, US$ 1.7 million has been disbursed to the Nordic Development Fund, US$ 29.9 million to the OPEC Fund for International Development, and US$ 489.9 million to the World Bank (WB).

The government’s total payment for loans and interest amount to US$ 1,338.8 million. “It is noteworthy that the ADB, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank (WB) have extended further financial support to the government due to its commendable track record in debt repayment,” said Tennakone.

He pointed out that negotiations are underway with relevant states and institutions to finalise agreements on the repayment of bilateral loans and interest, which currently stand at US$ 571.0 million.

Additionally, preliminary agreements have been reached concerning debt and interest payments, involving members of the Paris Club, with outstanding interest to be settled by the end of February 2024 amounting to US$ 450.7 million.

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