IMF to visit SL on June 20th, PM hopeful of staff level agreement by month’s end

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, last evening (9), met with the owners of the media organisations in Sri Lanka. During the discussion the Prime Minister’s senior economic advisor, Dr. Samaratunga, briefed the participants on the economic situation in the country.

The Prime Minister’s Media Division stated that Wickremesinghe informed the media owners that the IMF would be visiting the country on the 20th of June. He explained that he was hopeful that a staff-level agreement would be reached by the end of the month.

He also explained that due to the pending food shortages, he was launching the food security program in the country. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe added that he was hopeful that through the food security program the Government would be able to provide food free of charge to 10% of the population who would be unable to afford 3 meals.

He made an appeal to the media owners to assist the Government in presenting a true picture of the situation. He further stated that the media must hold the Government accountable when necessary, but at the same time requested that responsible reporting is followed.

When questioned on the Government’s initiatives, the Prime Minister explained that due to the damage caused to the economy the country would have to suffer the consequences. However, he added that the Government is making maximum effort to reduce the impact through providing financial and logistical support. A Rs. 200bn financial safety net is being raised for social sector support. 

He went on to explain that discussions were underway with Japan to regain their confidence and secure their support. The Prime Minister said that countries were stepping forward with assistance in food and medical supplies, however, no country would step forward with providing fuel free of charge. 

The Prime Minister stated that he was reliant on the support of the media organisations to help the country see through these upcoming months.