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* IMF advises Sri Lanka to pursue prudent policy mix ahead of elections
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 09:31 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 13, Washington, DC: The International Monetary (IMF) has advised Sri Lanka to continue to pursue prudent policy mix in the run up to the elections and to increase participation of women in labor force as part of labor reforms essential to face the ageing population.

Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, Deputy Director, Asia and Pacific Department at the Asia and Pacific Department Press Briefing on Thursday said Sri Lanka needs to focus on trade opening, SOE reforms, and increasing competitiveness.

Gulde-Wolf was responding to media questions on any fiscal slippage that Sri Lanka might have given in an election year and on the labor reforms.

"Yeah, let me come to your question on Sri Lanka and the context of the forthcoming elections. In that context, we really need to emphasize three messages. I mean we need to make sure that the authorities should continue to pursue prudent policy mix in the run up with sustained revenue-based fiscal consolidation and adequate vigilant monetary policy and continuing efforts to build reserves," she said.

She said it is critical in this context that market confidence is being maintained, and the economy's resilience to shocks, which has been strengthened over the past couple of months continues to be strengthened.

"As you know, there is high public debt, so market confidence is a critical element. Structural reforms are ongoing. They need to focus on trade opening, SOE reforms, and increasing competitiveness."

Responding to the issue of labor, Gulde-Wolf said the, unemployment in Sri Lanka is low, but in the forward-looking policies of competitiveness and looking at an ageing population, labor reforms are essential.

"One of them that I would stress is to increasing the participation rate of women also, which is very low in Sri Lanka."


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