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Financial bailout: IMF agreement to P’ment this week?

Financial bailout: IMF agreement to P’ment this week?

2 months ago

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State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya announced yesterday (18) that the agreements made between Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be presented in Parliament this week. 

Siyambalapitiya made this announcement during a media briefing in Kegalle, adding that President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation, and National Policies, would present the agreements before Parliament.

“The agreements will be presented in Parliament; it will likely happen next week,” Siyambalapitiya stated. 

He also assured that the Opposition and other political parties with alternative or opposing views on the IMF agreements would be given the opportunity to express their opinions as well.

The IMF and Sri Lanka have had a longstanding relationship, with the IMF providing financial support to the country on several occasions. 

In June 2016, Sri Lanka entered into a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme with the IMF, with the aim of strengthening the country’s economic growth, reducing the budget deficit, and stabilising its external position.

Sri Lanka has faced several economic challenges in recent years, including a high level of public debt, declining foreign reserves, and a widening fiscal deficit. The IMF programme aims to address these issues and support Sri Lanka’s efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth.

The presentation of the agreements in Parliament next week will provide an opportunity for lawmakers and the public to scrutinise the details of the IMF programme and express their views on it. 

It remains to be seen what the outcome of this parliamentary session will be and whether it will have any impact on Sri Lanka’s ongoing relationship with the IMF.

The Government has been criticised by Opposition politicians, some economists, and trade unionists about the lack of transparency in its negotiations with the IMF, following which a number of austerity measures have been introduced, forcing the citizenry to ‘tighten their belts further’ while already suffering the negative effects of the Covid pandemic and the worst economic crisis the country has endured thus far.

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