IMF agreement not terminated, few extensive discussions required before second tranche – Semasinghe
September 28, 2023 08:58 pm
Acting Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe says that Sri Lanka has to secure a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) review team to unlock the second tranche of the Extended Fund Facility amounting to approximately 330 million US Dollars.
Addressing a media briefing today (28), the Acting Finance Minister expressed confidence of reaching the staff-level agreement following the conclusion of discussions with relevant stakeholders.
The IMF team which arrived in Sri Lanka on the September 13, left the island last evening (27), following the conclusion of the first review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) provided to Sri Lanka.
“We are close to securing a staff-level agreement with the IMF. There are a few pending matters to be discussed, which will take place when the President arrives.”
“The IMF office in Sri Lanka has a few discussion points to hash out with the IMF headquarters. I guess that once these discussions conclude, we will be able to arrive at a staff-level agreement.”
Furthermore, Semasinghe pointed out that the matter pertaining to government revenue was highlighted at the IMF review, mentioning that it indicates an increase of 43% compared to government revenue in 2022.
“There are fears that the IMF agreement has been terminated”, he said, adding that there is no truth in that, but the country has to arrive at some agreements after extensive discussions.
“Concurrently, relevant institutions are executing necessary measures pertaining to debt restructuring.”
However, Semasinghe asserted that with this being the status quo, there is no need to feel anxious or harbour negative thoughts regarding the matter.