Sri Lanka may start talks with IMF in January: Jayasundera

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is likely to start talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a possible deal in line with the new administration’s policies in January, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera said.

Sri Lanka’s three year deal with the IMF is in the final stages.

“Whether we want to get the last tranche or whether we want a different co-operation arrangement will have to be discussed,” Jayasundera told foreign correspondents at the Presidential secretariat in Colombo.

He said the IMF program mission has not yet communicated with the new administration.

“But the regional director informed us that they wanted to co-operate with us and develop the Fund-Sri Lanka relationship for the future,”

“So most likely they will have a dialogue in January after the Christmas Season.”

He said the Fund understood the challenges of a transition of administration.

Jayasundera said the strategy was to re-orient IMF, World Bank and lending agency co-operation in line with the policy framework that the new administration has adopted.

Sri Lanka has slashed taxes to boost growth running counter to a so-called ‘revenues based fiscal consolidation’ or raising tax revenues without paying much attention to spending controls. (SB-Colombo/Dec19/2019)