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* Sri Lanka records Rs.48 bn surplus in primary account in 1Q 2023
Fri, May 26, 2023, 03:02 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

No truth in reports of State Bank loans written off - Acting Minister of Finance

May 26, Colombo: Acting Minister of Finance Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says that the primary account has recorded a positive value for the sixth time in independent Sri Lanka.

The Minister points out that it is a positive sign that the country's economy is waking up again.

In the first quarter of 2023, the primary account has recorded a surplus of 48 billion rupees. Previously, such a surplus was recorded in 2018. The minister said this Thursday while starting the parliamentary debate related to several directives implemented under the Finance Act.

In the first quarter of 2021, the primary account showed a deficit of 1009 billion rupees and in 2022, the deficit was shown as 894 billion rupees.

In the first quarter of 2023, the government's income is recorded as 635 billion rupees and the expenditure is 1260 billion rupees. When the debt interest installments of 637 billion rupees are removed, the expenses is shown as 587 billion rupees. Accordingly, the minister pointed out that during the same period of 2023, the primary account will show a positive value of 48 billion rupees.

On five previous occasions in independent Sri Lanka, the primary account has recorded a positive figure. In the year 1954, for the first time, the primary account recorded a positive value of 57 million rupees. In the year 1955, a positive value was also recorded and the amount was 150 million rupees. After that, the primary account recorded positive value in the year 1992. That amount is 177 million rupees. In the year 2017, the primary account showed a positive value of 2071 million rupees. Finally, in the year 2018 when a positive value was recorded, the value was recorded as 91,421 million rupees.

Meanwhile, the Acting Finance Minister also expressed his opinion regarding the spread of the rumor that some of the loans obtained by the state banks have been written off on the basis of political affiliations.

Tabling the statements issued by the two state-owned banks, the People's Bank and the Bank of Ceylon, the minister said that the government has no plan to write off such loans.

The Minister emphasized that false propaganda like this will pressure all the people at a time when the entire country is burdened with debt.


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