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CBSL Governor sees good progress in negotiations with China on debt restructuring

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Sri Lanka has made good progress in debt restructuring discussions with China, and negotiations with all parties will be concluded around the same time, Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe says.

Addressing the media in Colombo on Thursday, Dr. Weerasinghe, in answer to a question posed by a journalist, denied reports that progress in debt restructuring discussions with China was lagging compared to that in negotiations with the Paris Club of nations.

“Discussions with China, India, Japan and the Paris Club are progressing well. We are working closely with everyone, and we can finish all discussions on debt restructuring with these countries around the same time,” he said.

Dr. Weerasinghe said that Sri Lanka would receive the second tranche of the IMF financial package soon. He also denied reports that state-owned banks would be restructured along with non-financial state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Banks could not be restructured like non-financial SOEs and people shouldn’t worry about state-owned banks being privatised, the CBSL Chief said.

The Central Bank wanted to finalise amendments to the Banking Act and get them passed by Parliament, the CBSL Governor said.

“There are state-owned banks established under specific Acts. They appoint directors and board members according to those laws, and sometimes this leads to issues. We want to amend the Banking Act so that all banks adhere to the same governance processes,” Dr. Weerasinghe said.

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