IMF meetings postponed

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Meetings with SL delegation postponed as snow storm hits Washington

Meetings scheduled between top officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Sri Lankan Government delegation led by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday were postponed after a snowstorm hit Washington.      

“All meetings, including the one Sri Lanka was to have with IMF Managing Director Lagarde have been rescheduled as snow storms forces them to close the IMF office,” tweeted Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr. de Silva. 

“Having lived in U.S. Midwest previously, I am surprised how such little snow can shut the Capital down. 14 January, 2019: repayment of $1 billion ISB MR borrowed due today,” he added.

The Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, arrived in Washington on Sunday for talks with the IMF to put the $ 1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program back on track.

Minister Samaraweera is expected to signal the Government’s intention to continue with the IMF reform program. A key objective will be to negotiate the trajectory of continued fiscal consolidation while accommodating policies to support growth and strengthen social safety nets, the Finance Ministry said last week in a statement. 

The Finance Minister’s delegation to the IMF includes Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Treasury Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, and other key officials of the Central Bank and the Treasury.    

Governor Dr. Coomaraswamy, earlier this month, said the Government has the option of extending the IMF program by a year, describing it as a positive option for Sri Lanka as it looks to fund nearly $ 3 billion in debt repayments this year. 

The Governor also said the Government had already expressed interest in resuming the IMF program, and the Central Bank has already begun discussions towards this end. He also noted that the $ 1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program, which is expected to conclude in June this year, could be enhanced if the Government wishes to do so. However, the first step would be to review the current state of the program before making any decisions.


SL to repay $1 b foreign debt from reserves: CB Chief