Sri Lanka's ruling party parliamentarians have been asked to remain in Colombo for a crucial unscheduled session of Parliament on the decision on Domestic Debt Restructuring, sources from the ruling party said.
Sri Lanka is currently negotiating with its external creditors on debt restructuring as required by the International Monetary Fund's bailout conditions.
Before the next review in September, Sri Lanka has been asked by the Washington-based global lender to reach an agreement with all its creditors.
It was said that external creditors were adamant that the government announce its Domestic Debt Restructuring (DDR) plan in advance.
In March, the IMF extended a nearly USD 3 billion bailout facility over a period of four years to debt-ridden Sri Lanka to help stabilise its economy after it was jolted by a devastating economic crisis last year.
According to media speculation, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ruling party members are expected to vote in a special session of parliament which is likely to happen next weekend.
The government is expected to announce its plan for domestic debt restructuring (DDR) in the ongoing economic crisis.
The DDR plan would be announced either on Wednesday or Thursday next week with parliament expected to take it up over the weekend.
"The ruling SLPP parliamentarians have been instructed to remain in Colombo. They should get permission to leave if they want to go abroad”, the Chief government whip and minister Prasanna Ranatunga told reporters.
On being asked about the reason, Ranatunga said that there may be “an urgent parliamentary need with regard to the Finance Ministry affairs”.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, also the finance minister, who is currently overseas is expected to meet the government parliamentary group on DDR mid-next week before it would be presented in parliament.
The political party leaders in parliament are to meet on June 27 to decide on the agenda in the House for the urgent move on DDR, sources said.
According to official figures, Sri Lanka’s total debt is USD 83.6 billion, of which foreign debt amounts to USD 42.6 billion and domestic debt amounts to USD 42 billion.
In April 2022, Sri Lanka declared its first-ever debt default, the worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948, triggered by forex shortages that sparked public protests.
Months-long street protests led to the ouster of the then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in mid-July last year.
Rajapaksa had started the IMF negotiations after refusing to tap the global lender for support.