Sri Lankan Finance Minister Blames Previous Government For "Debt Trap"

Sri Lanka's public debt repayments will grow to a record $4 billion in 2019, the finance ministry said, blaming "colossal borrowing" by the previous government, Reuters reported. "Sri Lanka is embroiled in a gigantic debt trap," Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said in a statement. The cost of repaying and servicing foreign-held debt will jump more than 32 percent this year to $2.42 billion from 2016's 1.83 billion, rising to $2.56 billion next year, it said. "The main reason is that loans obtained by the previous regime for infrastructure development have not brought any return on their investment," the ministry said in the statement, adding that domestic revenues and export earnings had fallen between 2011 and 2014. Read more.