COLOMBO (NewsRadio); President Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to hold discussions with the officials from the International Monetary Fund who are in Sri Lanka, as part of the review of the IMF programme.
Following discussions with President Wickremesinghe, the staff level agreement will be finalized which will facilitate the disbursement of around USD 330 million as part of the Extended Fund Facility programme.
The IMF team which arrived in Sri Lanka on the 14th of this month has been holding discussions with officials of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and several other factions pertaining to the EFF arrangement and the IMF programme approved in March.
The IMF team commenced discussions on the 14th of September as part of the first review of the Extended Fund Facility arrangement reached certain agreements on the opening day.
During the meeting, Sri Lanka was represented by Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayake, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe and officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe did not take part in the initial discussions since he was visiting the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
During the discussion that took place at the Presidential Secretariat, the IMF team acknowledged the progress made by Sri Lanka in terms of reforms and achieving targets while also indicating some areas must be improved at a faster rate including measures to increase the revenue of the government.
The IMF team noted that since Sri Lanka had failed to meet certain targets of previous IMF agreements, stricter conditions had to be imposed this time.
Both the IMF and local authorities indicated the agreement will also facilitate the restructuring of international debt with the participation of primary lenders such as India, Japan, China and the Paris Club.
In March this year, the IMF Executive Board approved a 48-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility of SDR 2.286 billion (about USD 3 billion) to support Sri Lanka’s economic policies and reforms.
The objectives of the EFF-supported program are to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, safeguarding financial stability, and stepping up structural reforms to unlock Sri Lanka’s growth potential.
The Executive Board’s decision enabled an immediate disbursement equivalent to SDR 254 million (about USD 333 million) in March.
Following the first review after considering the programme’s performance until end-June, it will be presented to the IMF Executive Board.
If it is approved by both the staff and the Executive Board, it will result in another disbursement.
Following the first IMF review, Sri Lanka is expected to receive around USD 330 million.