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Tuesday September 26th, 2023

Sri Lanka seeks technical support from IMF: Basil

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has sought technical support from the International Monetary Fund and a mission is likely to arrive, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said.

“We have not officially done anything,” he told reporters at a forum in Colombo Wednesday when asked whether a decision has been made to go for an IMF program.

“But we have written to them and sought specialist advice from them. The IMF is an international institution set up to give advice to countries that are going through crisis situations.

“We also need funds. Japan has agreed to give money.

“So one of these days they will come and give us advice about things that we do not know. Whether we take the advice is not something I can do alone. Before we go there we need to know what they give. We get specialist knowledge and are looking to find out what is the suitable system for this country. Before we go to any bank to get a housing loan also we need to know.”

He did not elaborate on the mission.

Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said in a message Thursday morning that it was a technical assistance mission (TA) mission.

An IMF team was in Sri Lanka recently for annual Article IV consultations which had been delayed.

Sri Lanka officials have previously said they had the IMF as an option and was trying other methods to solve the external problem as Washington based lender would request a currency depreciation and spending cuts.

Several cabinet ministers have said publicly that Sri Lanka should consider going for an International Monetary Fund program as forex shortages disrupted supplies of various goods.

There has been a softening of attitude towards the IMF among ruling party politicians in recent weeks. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma last months said IMF should not be demonized as it had helped the country in the past.

The matter had been discussed at the cabinet on several occasions.

Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves have fallen sharply due to liquidity injections made to keep interest rates down as economic activity recovered.

Sri Lanka’s imports are soaring amid a large budget deficit and recovering private credit. (Colombo/Feb02/2022)

Comments (2)

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  1. Xavier Fernando says:

    IMF just responded with one line – “Fire incompetent monkeys and get intelligent humans, to run the country”

  2. John FERNANDO Fernando says:

    crooks dont like to borrow from imf so they to have account for it cant steal

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  1. Xavier Fernando says:

    IMF just responded with one line – “Fire incompetent monkeys and get intelligent humans, to run the country”

  2. John FERNANDO Fernando says:

    crooks dont like to borrow from imf so they to have account for it cant steal

Future SJB govt to “refine” Sri Lanka’s agreement with IMF: Harsha de Silva

ECONOMYNEXT – A future government led by the incumbent main opposition party the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) will “refine” Sri Lanka’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), SJB legislator Harsha de Silva said.

The MP tweeted Monday September 26 morning that a closed-door discussion between the SJB and an IMF team that’s currently in Sri Lanka to review the ongoing programme was productive and had focused on governance, transparency and equity in the reform process.

“It was a good discussion. We were quite frank,” said de Silva in a clip he shared of him speaking to the privately owned NewsFirst network.

“Yes, we said we agree as the SJB that we need to work with the IMF, and that we accept that large-scale economic reform will have to take place. That was the baseline.

“However, the leader of the opposition said that, under our government, certain modifications will have to happen,” said de Silva.

The MP, who also chairs the parliament’s Committee on Public Finance (COPF), said this is because the people “obviously see that there is inequity in the implementation of this agreement”.

News footage of the SJB’s latest round of talks with the IMF team showed that SJB and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa along with de Silva and a handful of his colleagues in the party were joined by former Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MPs who were vocal supporters of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. MPs Nalaka Godahewa and G L Peiris also seen joining a group photo with the IMF and the SJB lawmakers.

The SJB was among the first to demand that the then government of ex-President Rajapaksa approach the IMF before Sri Lanka’s currency crashed in 2022. Over the months since incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s administration embarked on an IMF-prescribed reform agenda, the opposition party has adopted a more critical position on the international lender.

In May,  SJB MP Kabir Hashim speaking at a public event in Monaragala alluded to a unique vision his party possesses with regard to macroeconomic development that doesn’t necessarily include the IMF.


Sri Lanka’s SJB no longer enamoured of IMF, promises new govt in three moons

The SJB’s position with regard to the IMF programme, Sri Lanka’s 17th so far, has been less than consistent. The party, which was among the first to call for a deal with the iInternational lender at the onset of the island nation’s worst currency crisis in decades, abstained from voting for the agreement in a vote taken in parliament in April.

While the SJB hasn’t quite had a drastic departure from its original pro-IMF stance, the party has been increasingly vocal of late about the socioeconomic impact of the deal.

SJB leader Premadasa earlier this year reportedly said a future SJB government would not be obligated to honour deals made by the incumbent government headed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe. MP de Silva explained later that what his party leader had meant was that Sri Lanka must negotiate terms favourable to the country when dealing with the IMF. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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Sri Lanka cabinet okays appropriation bill for 2024 budget

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had approved a draft Appropriation Act for 2024, the state information office said.

The Finance Minister’s proposal to gazette the bill and table it in parliament was approved by the cabinet.

Presenting the appropriation bill is the first stage of presenting a budget for 2024,

The appropriation bills set outs the expenditure plans for each ministry.

The budget proposals, made in November is called the second reading of the Appropriation Act. (Colombo/Sept24/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s MEPA to get 28.5 mn rupees from Singaporean AEPW, for beach clean up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is to receive 5.7 million rupees a year, for five years, from Singapore-based marine waste solutions provider, Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), to maintain 8 beach cleaner machines.

The donation is meant to support MEPA clean coastal areas across Sri Lanka, using BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaner machines, previously donated by the organisation.

The oil industry-founded non-governmental organisation donated the 8 beach cleaners worth about US$180,000 to MEPA in the wake of the 2021 MV X-press Pearl ship disaster.

The machines manufactured by Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, a German company, are effective at cleaning up plastic nurdles and other types of potentially harmful non-biodegradable waste, minimising human contact with hazardous materials.

As a significant amount of money is spent for the deployment of these machines for beach cleaning activities, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has agreed to provide the funds for the upkeep of the machines for a period of five years.

With this financial donation, the Maritime Environment Protection Authority will be able to continue using these machines without interruption to clean identified beaches in the future. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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