Govt delegation to negotiate with IMF in USA

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera arrived in Washington. This is to hold talks on getting the IMF External Fund Facility (EFF) back on track and indicate the government’s intention to continue with the IMF reform program.“A key objective will be to negotiate the trajectory of continued fiscal consolidation while accommodating policies to support growth and strengthen the social safety net,” a Finance Ministry statement said.

The team includes Governor Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswarmy, Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva and Treasury Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga.The team will meet IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, Deputy Managing Director, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Director, Asia Pacific Department, Chanyong Rhee, Team Leader Manuel Goretti and other members of the IMF Sri Lanka Team.

Sri Lanka had just completed talks with the IMF on getting the next tranche of its loan in October 2018 when a political crisis triggered by sacking the Prime Minister interrupted the process.The government is keen to raise US$ 1.9 billion from the international money markets.Meanwhile Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva in his twitter message has indicated that that they are planning to discuss Sri Lanka’s extended fund facility (EFF). Dr De Silva said that Sri Lanka has lost nearly US$ One billion reserves due to the recent political crisis.

The IMF put on hold the program discussions on the 5th review of the Extended Fund Facility during the 52 day political crisis which began last October.Sri Lanka’s three-year extended arrangement was approved on June 3, 2016, in the amount of about US$ 1.5 billion and with the latest tranche disbursed in June 2018, the IMF has disbursed about US$ 1.014 billion.After completion of the fifth review Sri Lanka is expected to receive a sixth tranche of about $250 million. The total loan was expected to have been disbursed with a seventh tranche by mid-2019.

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