Commercial borrowing by Govt. – Harsha
The government had made a commercial borrowing of US Dollars 810 million (Rs. 8.1 billion) from China on December 31 for the second phase of the Hambantota Harbour in a discreet manner, UNP National List MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said in Parliament yesterday.
Speaking during the debate on new regulations under the Import and Export (Control) Act in the House yesterday, Dr. de Silva said that there had been no transparency in this transaction. He said that this would worsen the debt crisis faced by the country. “The country’s annual debt servicing exceeds the total revenue earnings,” he charged.
Dr. de Silva also informed the House that the country was facing a severe balance of trade crisis since it had dropped by 72 percent to US $ 4,700 million today. He criticized the government’s decision to give over a land opposite Galle Face Green to a Chinese company to construct a multiple complex saying that it had been not been done in a transparent manner.
Referring to the import of several limousines into the country, Dr. de Silva charged that the government had not imposed import duty on them. He questioned the government’s reasoning behind levying increased import duties on essential commodities such as dhal instead of super luxury items such as limousines.
UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala who responded to these allegations said that import duty could not be imposed on limousines as they had not been categorized in the duty list
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