PM expresses hope over IMF engagement


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said, discussions with the IMF are proceeding and he is hopeful that negotiations would conclude by the end of the month.

He noted that debt restructuring has begun, following the appointment of financial and legal advisers.

The Prime Minister also said, bridging finance to help alleviate the crisis is dependent on an agreement with the IMF being reached.

Sri Lanka is in talks with the IMF to borrow at least USD 3 billion via the lender’s extended fund facility (EFF), Reuters reported.  It is said USD 3 billion deal would represent almost four times the country’s quota with the IMF.

The Prime Minister explained to representatives from the Joint Chambers, that the Government was targeting USD 5 billion this year for repayments, plus a further USD 1 billion to bolster the country’s reserves.

Commenting further, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stated that talks are continuing with donor nations. He added that relations with Japan had broken down which will take a while to repair and regain confidence.

With regard to medicine shortage, the Prime Minister explained that former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was leading the international appeal for urgently-needed medicine.

Addressing the issue of food scarcity, the Prime Minister explained that securing fertiliser and compiling a food security programme were being given equal priority. He explained that in the event of any surplus crops, those would be provided to vulnerable groups at a concessionary rate.