Public Finance Committee to explore debt restructuring options | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Public Finance Committee to explore debt restructuring options

11 June, 2023

The Committee on Public Finance (COPF) of Parliament will review the country’s financial situation in depth, Dr. Harsha De Silva, the newly appointed COPF Chairman and Opposition MP told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Dr. De Silva said COPF is crucial to develop an efficient debt restructuring strategy for the country consistent with the IMF-supported Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.

“Conducting an in-depth study into Government debt distinguishing between internal and external debt is a priority to create a comprehensive strategy to restructure the country’s debt,” he said.

He said steps would be taken soon to conduct an in–depth analysis of Government debt dynamics. This requires rigorous data analysis, economic modelling and consideration of country-specific contexts. De Silva said COPF members would also engage in stakeholder meetings with external and internal creditors to explore various debt restructuring options.

He said Parliament has agreed to the IMF program. COPF deals with capital inflows or the movement of money in the country. He said President Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed his expectations for solid support from COPF for the debt restructuring process.

“COPF would have to face many challenges in devising a debt restructuring strategy,” said Dr. De Silva.

Unlike other parliamentary committees, such as the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) and Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), which primarily investigate incidents in public institutions and scrutinise audit findings, COPF focuses on how the Government manages funds under the existing laws. It encompasses revenue collection, Government earnings, and the allocation and use of budgetary funds, among other aspects related to fund flows.

Dr. De Silva said that COPF is also responsible to minimise any adverse impact on the public resulting from debt restructuring. The Committee will work diligently to address and mitigate any inconveniences that may arise, he added.