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* Sri Lanka Finance Minister to leave for Washington to hold discussions with IMF on continuing EFF
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 07:03 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera will leave for Washington on January 11 to get the IMF External Fund Facility (EFF), which was put on hold due to the political crisis, back on track.

He will be meeting Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, Chanyong Rhee, Director, Asia Pacific Department, Manuel Goretti, Team Leader and other members of the IMF Sri Lanka Team, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Minister Samaraweera is expected to signal the Government's intention to continue with IMF reform program. A key objective will be to negotiate the trajectory of continued fiscal consolidation while accommodating policies to support growth and strengthen the social safety net.

The Finance Minister's delegation to IMF will include the Governor of the Central Bank, Secretary to the Treasury and other key officials of the Central Bank and the Treasury.

The IMF put on hold the program discussions on the 5th review of the Extended Fund Facility when President Maithripala Sirisena precipitated an unprecedented political crisis on October 26 ousting the incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who was backing social market economic policies.

Sri Lanka's three-year extended arrangement was approved on June 3, 2016, in the amount of about US$ 1.5 billion and with the latest tranche disbursed in June 2018, the IMF has disbursed about US$ 1.014 billion.

After completion of the fifth review Sri Lanka is expected to receive a sixth tranche of about $250 million. The total loan was expected to have been disbursed with a seventh tranche by mid-2019.

 

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