The leading banking sector trade union urges the government to clarify its announcement of an unprecedentedly-long bank holiday to allow for a domestic debt restructuring (DDP).

A gazette has declared June 30 as a special bank holiday, with Central Bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe saying the aim was to go for a domestic debt optimization (DDO), while the speaker has summoned parliament at the weekend.

The CBSL has announced an auction of Rs. 140,000 million worth of Treasury bills within two days after the end of a five-day-long holiday for the banks.

Secretary of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union Ranjan Senanayake said it was clear as to what parliament was going to do in this duration.

He told the media the government should give an assurance that banks, depositors and clients would not be harmed in any way, and explain how this domestic debt optimization (DDO) would take place.

Specifically, it should clarify which method, among many available, would be used for the DDO in lieu of the creditors, he said.

According to economists, borrowings by the state via treasury bonds would be targeted in the restructuring of domestic debt.

President of the Union Channa Dissanayake said a DDP, of a current sum of 42 billion US dollars, was not a condition laid down by the IMF.

With the government yet to announce the manner of the DDR, bank workers and the general public are unaware of what the future holds for them, he said.

He assured that both state and private banks would continue their services without any interruption.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said days ago that a DDP would not impact the EPF and other pension funds, interests paid for deposits, or the banking system.


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