By Rathindra Kuruwita
A sinister attempt is being made in some quarters to trigger a run on banks and the five-day bank holiday is aimed at countering that move, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said.
Siyambalapitiya, addressing the media, yesterday, assured that bank and other deposits and pension funds would not be affected by Domestic Debt Restructuring (DDR) and that there is no reason for people to panic.
Sri Lanka’s total debt amounted to USD 83.6 billion made up of foreign debt of USD 42.6 billion and domestic debt of USD 42 billion.
“Out of the domestic debt amounting to USD 25 billion are in Treasury bonds, USD 11 billion in Treasury Bills, USD 5.6 billion in development bonds and the rest has been from various institutions. When we restructure domestic debt, there will be no haircuts,” he said.
DDR will amount to extensions of payment dates, moratoriums and reducing interest rates, he said.
“If we can restructure foreign debt well, we don’t need too much from domestic debt. People should not panic and rush to the banks. Your deposits are safe. Your pension funds are safe,” the State Minister of Finance added.