Country had only US$ 17 mn Reserves when Cabraal left - Sabry | Daily News

Country had only US$ 17 mn Reserves when Cabraal left - Sabry

Allegations levelled against the Central Bank Governor are unreasonable, Minister Ali Sabry, PC told the House yesterday (2).

Sabry pointed out that he is ready to take up the responsibility of any accusation against the Governor as the then Finance Minister and step down on behalf of him. Sabry made these observations during the debate on the Interim Budget 2022.

Several allegations were made suggesting that the CBSL acted irresponsibly regarding the declaration of the country’s economic situation. In response Minister Sabry claimed that the decision to declare a default on foreign loans  was taken following discussions with the President and all other relevant authorities.

Minister Sabry noted that Sri Lanka had to settle a loan of 203 MN USD by April but there was only 17 MN USD in the reserves.

“We did not avoid paying the loans while we had funds in our hand. There were not enough funds in the reserves to settle the payment. We wanted funds to settle for other essentials such as food and medicine. We had to prioritize essential needs rather than paying loans. We discussed with the President, Finance Ministry officials, international experts and all those concerned before arriving at a decision to go for a default.” he said. The Minister also said the country defaulted by April which is even before the official announcement. He noted that the local banks had defaulted 99 MN USD in total by April 12. “There was nothing to default. We had already defaulted,” he pointed out.

Sabry also requested not to go after the Governor and said that he is a person who has fulfilled what he had promised.

Sabry also noted that the presented new budget is workable and the first step in building the country has been taken with it. He urged all parties to support the government to implement the proposals.

“If there is any problem with the said decision, the responsibility is with me. I was the then Finance Minister. I am ready to face it. I would like to request not to go after honest and courageous officials who have done what is best for the country. The Governor never wanted this, it was we who wanted him to take up the responsibility. Former President wanted him here and he came and did an outstanding job for the country. There seems to be some sort of a conspiracy to get rid of him.” Sabry PC observed.

Sabry also said that there was only US$ 17 million in reserves when former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal left the position.

Add new comment