IMF representatives today met the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake for a mission review of the USD 1.5 billion loan approved for Sri Lanka under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to support the country’s economic reform agenda.
Jaewoo Lee, IMF Representative, and the Country Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives Ms,Eteri Kyintradgze met the Minister of Finance at his Ministry and reviewed the progress of the reforms agenda of the government. The Secretary to Treasury Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga was also associated with Minister of Finance at this discussion.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June had approved a 36-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with Sri Lanka for an amount equivalent to SDR 1.1 billion (about USD 1.5 billion) to support the country’s economic reform agenda.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake who thanked the IMF for its timely assistance explained the economic targets in detail set by the unity government. Elaborating the government’s fiscal consolidation target the Minister said that the government was very clear in gradually reducing the overall fiscal deficit to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2020.
“We had a budget deficit of 6.7 % of the GDP last year and this year’s target will be 5.4%. It will be further reduced to 4.7% in 2017” asserted the Minister.
The Minister also briefed the IMF representatives on the Policies and programs undertaken to support adjustment and reforms. Apart from the Fiscal consolidation, the other areas included under reforms are revenue mobilization, Public financial management and the reforms in the State owned enterprises.
The IMF mission Representatives admired the progress made in the right direction under the reforms agenda. They also expressed hope that the Unity Government of Sri Lanka would be able to achieve desired economic progress in the near future as stimulated in their reforms agenda.
The first tranche of the Loan was disbursed in June and the rest will be disbursed in five equal tranches and the next tranche is due in November. The reports of the review meeting the Mission Representatives held with the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake in the presence of the Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga will be tabled in the IMF November regular meeting enabling the disbursement of the 2nd tranche of the IMF Loan.