Sri Lanka-IMF Talks From Wednesday
A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be in Sri Lanka from August 24 to 31 to discuss the progress made by the country to ensure debt sustainability in order to pave the way for a Staff-Level Agreement (SLA) with the Fund. The discussions will focus on finalising the SLA as well as provide an update to the IMF on Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plans. Finance Ministry officials and the economic experts’ committee held several rounds of discussions last week in preparation for the meetings with the IMF delegation. A senior member of the Government told The Sunday Morning that the government was confident of “reaching an agreement on finalising an IMF Staff-Level Agreement” by the end of the month. Restructuring Chinese and Indian debt plays a key role in reaching any form of agreement with the IMF. It is learnt that the government is also continuing discussions with China’s Exim Bank on the issue of restructuring loans following China’s decision that the Sri Lankan Government first hold discussions with individual financial institutions that had lent money before the intervention of the Chinese Government. India has maintained that it would extend whatever support required by Sri Lanka at the IMF. “Any help we can give to Sri Lanka at the IMF, that we will naturally do,” Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said. This year alone India had extended $ 3.8 billion of support to Sri Lanka, including credit lines and swap arrangements, he added.