Access to IMF $500 million extended | Sunday Observer

Access to IMF $500 million extended

The IMF program with Sri Lanka will be extended by one year, an IMF official said last week.

Director Communications, IMF, Gerry Rice said, “We have a program with Sri Lanka that is ongoing and our executive board will consider the request from the authorities to complete the review of the fifth review under our program tomorrow.”

Rice was speaking at an IMF press conference last week.

In response to a question on plans for debt relief given the terrorist attack, Rice said, “I think this is the important issue, to extend that program by one additional year which would mean until June 2020. And that extension to be discussed and approved by our board. The extension will provide additional time to the authorities to anchor macroeconomic stability and complete the reform agenda.

Outstanding access of about $500 million under the arrangement will be rephrased evenly in three tranches over three semiannual reviews under that extension”

Rice added, “we are deeply saddened by the horrific attacks in Sri Lanka and we have offered our condolences to the authorities and to the people who have been so badly affected there.” In the fourth (previous) IMF review, the subsequent report noted; ‘Despite some implementation delays and weather-related shocks, the authorities achieved a primary surplus in 2017, through expenditure management and revenue mobilisation. Despite a challenging economic environment, the CBSL conducted monetary policy prudently, bringing inflation back within its band. Taking advantage of favourable market conditions in 2017, the CBSL also stepped up its pace of reserve accumulation. Major milestones include the launch of the new Inland Revenue Act, progress with SOEs and energy-pricing reforms, as well as adoption of the CBSL’s Roadmap to flexible inflation targeting.’