Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka says the country will face an economic crisis if it fails to honour international debt repayments due in September this year.
Addressing an event held in Colombo, Minister Ranawaka said Sri Lanka could face economic turmoil like Argentina and Greece, if it defaults on international debt.
The Minister noted the first six months of 2019 had been tough on the country’s treasury adding the Treasury had needed 1,150 billion rupees to maintain state service and to pay salaries while a further 350 billion had been used for other development activities.
Minister Ranawaka stressed 1,500 billion had been spent on those two areas alone while loan instalments and interest had come to about 1,100 billion.
The Minister said therefore the total expenditure had been 2,600 billion, while revenue had only been 900 billion rupees.
He further stressed the country could not continue on this trend adding failure to repay the loans due in September will result in the country going bankrupt.
Minister Ranawaka added Argentina and Greece faced similar situations in recent years.
Meanwhile he also emphasized the need to empower intelligence services with modern technology in order to combat threats faced by Sri Lanka due to religious fundamentalism.
The Minister claimed religious fundamentalism could not be contained through barricades, roadblocks and through special forces, like the country had succeeded in nullifying traditional terrorist groups.
He added the country needed to think anew as religious fundamentalism could not be defeated through weapons.
Minister Ranawaka therefore stressed on the need to use modern technology and provide smart technology to intelligence and defence personnel, adding the country cannot depend on traditional leaders who had shunned modern technology to tackle new terror threats.
(Source: News Radio)