Delegation heading to US for talks with IMF

Delegation heading to US for talks with IMF

Shehan SemasingheBy Easwaran Rutnam

A Government delegation is expected to leave for Washington today (Saturday) for talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe told Daily Mirror that he is part of the delegation which includes Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe.

The delegation will brief the IMF on the progress made so far with regards to tax reforms.

The State Minister said he was confident that an agreement will be reached with the IMF soon.

The IMF had told Daily Mirror earlier that it is waiting for Sri Lanka to comply with all the applicable IMF policies before further steps can be taken.

Peter Breuer, Senior Mission Chief for Sri Lanka and Masahiro Nozaki, Mission Chief for Sri Lanka, had said that on 1st September the IMF reached a staff-level agreement (SLA) with Sri Lanka on a 48-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility of about US$2.9 billion.

“The SLA is ad-referendum i.e., subject to IMF Management and IMF Executive Board approval. Once all applicable IMF policies are complied with (including taking prior actions and restoring debt sustainability consistent with program parameters), IMF management recommends to the IMF Executive Board to approve an IMF arrangement. Once the IMF arrangement is approved, the member will receive financing under in tranches subject to the IMF Executive Board’s regular review of the member’s policy implementation,” the IMF said.

The IMF also said that according to the IMF policies, the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), which describes the proposed policy measures in the SLA in detail, will be published shortly after the Board approval of the EFF arrangement.

Peter Breuer and Masahiro Nozaki said that in the interest of transparency, the IMF issued a press release on September 1, and held a press conference on the same day, to disseminate key elements of the SLA.

The Sri Lankan authorities disseminated further details in a presentation to creditors on September 23. (Courtesy Daily Mirror)

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