Sri Lanka’s finance minister, Ali Sabry, waved a metaphorical red flag in parliament on Wednesday as the troubled country’s usable foreign exchange reserves fell below $ 50 million, raising concerns about its ability to provide food, fuel and other basic necessities for citizens and repay huge foreign debts. .
Sabry – who resigned on April 4, the day after the appointment to return – noted that we spent twice and a half. “In 2021, the total income was 1,500 billion (Sri Lankan) rupees … the expenditure was 3.522 billion rupees … we lived (through) our own resources …” he said, warning lawmakers not to help the World Bank or the IMF. solved deep-rooted problems.
“The IMF is not Aladdin’s magic lamp,” he said.
Sri Lanka is on the verge of bankruptcy and has suspended payments on foreign loans totaling more than $ 50 billion, with $ 8.6 billion expected to fall due this year.
Foreign exchange reserves were estimated at $ 2.31 billion in February. By March, it had fallen to $ 1.93 billion.
Total reserves fell 70 percent in two years, Reuters reports.
Last week, the World Bank announced it would provide $ 600 million in aid to help Sri Lanka meet payment requirements for substantial imports.
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