Cabinet greenlights tabling IMF report in Parliament

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BY Thameenah Razeek and Methmalie Dissanayake

Cabinet gave its nod to table the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Report on Sri Lanka in Parliament.

Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa presented the proposal to Cabinet in this regard. The final IMF Article IV Staff Report was released on 25 March.

Meanwhile, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena that a debate on the report should be held for two days. Wickremesinghe has also informed Gunawardena that the debate should be moved by the Finance Minister. 

Wickremesinghe said many Government and Opposition MPs wish to participate in the debate. Also, the Government needs time to present its proposals. Therefore, they should be given sufficient time, he added. 

The IMF Report included a number of recommendations, including a revision on tax collection.

In response to the Report, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) stated that the Ministry of Finance and the CBSL have already made several policy adjustments. These include monetary policy tightening, allowing exchange rate flexibility, removing restrictions on foreign exchange market transactions, implementing projected revenue enhancing measures, and allowing market-based price adjustments to key commodities. CBSL said with the Government’s indication of closer engagement with the IMF, it is ready to extend its fullest cooperation to overcome the current financial crisis.