The week of the dreaded DDR

Wednesday, 28 June 2023 00:00 –      – 12

The problem of domestic debt restructuring has become much more prominent in today’s interconnected global economy, especially in rising and developing nations. Finding efficient solutions for restructuring domestic debt has never been more important due to rising debt vulnerabilities and an increasing amount of sovereign domestic debt in these economies. Governments can use domestic debt restructuring as a strategy to relieve budgetary and economic pressures. While the story unravels within our country, the focus on the need to strike a balance between debt sustainability and potential domestic economic disruptions should be kept.

According to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s domestic debt restructuring won’t have an impact on the soundness of any public or private banks or the member balance of any provident funds. This week, Sri Lanka will make its DDR announcement amid market rumours of turbulence in the banking and financial sectors. However, Wickremesinghe stated that the DDR will have no impact on the membership balance of any public funds, including the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).

Additionally, he highlighted that the rate of return for superannuation accounts will not be impacted in any manner, according to a statement from the Presidential Media Division.

Governments must carefully weigh the advantages of decreasing the debt load against the fiscal and overall economic costs connected with the restructuring when determining whether to incorporate domestic debt in a national restructuring. The necessity to preserve financial stability, guarantee the operation of the central bank, or top off pension savings may result in fiscal expenses. To find a lasting solution, it is essential to balance these factors.

Furthermore, according to the President, neither the stability of the nation’s private nor public banks would be threatened by the restructuring of domestic debt. He made it clear that neither the present interest rates given on bank deposits nor the deposits of the more than 50 million bank depositors will alter. It was emphasised that by the end of 2022, Sri Lanka’s total state debt—which includes both domestic and international debt—would be $ 83,700 million or 128.3% of GDP. In relation to this sum, the foreign debt came to $ 41,500 million.

An effective domestic debt restructuring should be planned to consider, reduce, and manage its effects on the country’s financial system and economy. Governments can increase involvement in the restructuring process by engaging creditors in a positive and open manner. Market-based incentives may also be a significant factor in encouraging creditors to work with one another. Instilling confidence and fostering stability can be accomplished by outlining the restructuring as a part of a coherent macroeconomic plan.

It is frequently desirable to use a comprehensive approach that includes a wide variety of creditors in order to increase involvement and reduce interruptions. The possibility of a successful restructuring is increased by distributing the load among different creditor groups and reducing the relief requested from each group.

In rising and developing nations the world over, domestic debt restructuring has become a crucial instrument for resolving fiscal and economic stress. Restructuring domestic debt has certain advantages over restructuring external debt, however, there are special considerations for domestic debt. It’s essential to weigh the advantages of debt relief against any potential negative effects on the local economy. Governments must take proactive measures to control the financial and economic effects of restructuring, communicate openly with creditors, and position the restructuring as a component of a larger macroeconomic strategy. Local debt restructuring can help restore debt sustainability while reducing negative impacts on the local economy by using a thorough and well-managed methodology.

 

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