IMF deal to be public only after creditors’ talks

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana that the content of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement will be briefed to the Cabinet, the Speaker, and the Opposition after the discussions with the external creditors are concluded.

Reading a clarification sent by the President in relation to the IMF staff-level agreement, Speaker Abeywardana stated in Parliament yesterday (22) that although some agreement has been reached with the IMF officials, the approval of the Board of the IMF is required, and that in order to do so, a report by the creditor countries is required.

“Until then, it will not be decided by anybody. Before that, there will be a Cabinet briefing. The Cabinet too has not been informed of this yet. The Cabinet will be briefed very soon once all the details have been received. The Opposition, the Speaker, and interested parties will be invited for the briefing. There are things that need to be added and revised in the agreement.”

When Chief Opposition Whip and Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Lakshman Kiriella sought the Speaker’s assurance that the content will be presented to Parliament prior to Cabinet approval, Abeywardena said that once the discussions are concluded and the finalities are reached, the President will brief the Cabinet and the relevant Ministers prior to approaching the IMF.

The discussion between the legal and financial advisors and the country’s external creditors is scheduled to be held today (23).

On 18 September, Reuters reported that the country will make a presentation to its international creditors today, laying out the full extent of its economic troubles and plans for debt restructuring, and a multi-billion US dollar IMF bailout.

Reuters further stated that the Ministry of Finance had said in a statement via the legal firm Clifford Chance that the online call today would be open to all its external creditors and be “an interactive session” in which the participants can ask questions.

“The authorities intend to update their external creditors on the most recent macroeconomic developments, the main objectives of the reform package agreed upon with the IMF and the next steps of the debt restructuring process,” the statement dated 17 September said.

Meanwhile, an Ambassadors’ Forum on debt restructuring and International Monetary Fund (IMF) program took place under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (22).

A total of 16 Colombo-based missions participated in the forum, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

Meanwhile, six other participants took part in the forum from New Delhi virtually, the PMD added.