Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said his job is to look into the welfare of the country and not China’s as he lashed back at comments made by Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang.
“I am the Sri Lankan Finance Minister, not the Chinese Finance Minister. My effort is to save even a penny for the Sri Lankan people,” the Colombo Page quoted Karunanayake as saying to media during his visit to Kandy.
The Chinese Ambassador last week while addressing a selected group of journalists, said he was disappointed at negative comments from Sri Lanka, especially related to Chinese-funded mega development projects.
He said it was unfair for Sri Lanka to term loans given by China as ‘expensive’ and asked why Sri Lanka Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake is seeking fresh loans from China if the interest rates were too high.
The Chinese envoy said they have regular or fixed interest ratio of two percent for not only Sri Lanka but also for any other developing country.
“If you don’t like this one, why you come again, to talk with me about another one,” he asked.
Responding to the Chinese Ambassador’s comments, the Finance Minister said, “If he says they have not given loans with interest more than two percent we are happy – because then we only have to pay two percent then.”
“The President has appointed me as the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka, not as China’s Finance Minister. So we reduce everything we can for the people,” said Karunanayake. (ANI)