Securing IMF funding will take time – Sabry

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Sri Lanka is still in the early stages of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and it would take some time to secure funding, Finance Minister Ali Sabry noted on Friday (22).  The Minister, who is in Washington, DC to hold discussions with the IMF, made this remark at an online Media briefing with Sri Lankan journalists. He also acknowledged that Sri Lanka had been slow to approach the IMF, in recent discussions with the organisation.

Ali Sabry stated that discussions have been held with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), India and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to obtain the necessary funding for Sri Lanka until it receives financial assistance from the IMF.

Accordingly, the World Bank has agreed to provide USD 300-600 million in financial assistance to Sri Lanka within four months, he said. He said the funds would be used to import medicines, gas and fertiliser and provide relief. He also said India had agreed to provide another USD 500 million credit facility to purchase fuel.

Furthermore, India is considering providing another USD 1 billion for the import of essential food items and then another USD 1 billion. In addition, India has officially pledged to support the payment of USD 1.4 billion in Letters of Credit every two months until January, the Minister said.

By Tharaka Samman