Key representatives of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country expressed appreciation for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for engaging in discussions concerning the economic crisis and its potential effects on the sector’s future growth.

In a rare opportunity, amidst what some perceive as indifference from the country’s Central Bank and other authorities, MSMEs welcomed the chance to address their concerns with IMF officials.

Local Business National Trade Protection Council President Mahendra Perera noted the significance of this dialogue, highlighting the IMF’s explanation of the debt restructuring process with both internal and external partners.

“We urged the IMF to advocate for the Government to allocate a portion of the $100 million extended for SMEs by the ADB to non-performing loan (NPL) debtors, given the Government’s decision not to extend it to NPL SMEs,” stated Perera, emphasizing the importance of IMF intervention to support the sustainability of the SME sector.

He explained that the SMEs have reached this stage due to the prolonged impact since the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019, followed by the COVID pandemic and economic collapse in 2022.

Anti-parate activist and MSME Chamber of Sri Lanka member Suresh Raghavan shared insights from the extensive discussion with IMF officials, focusing on the need for a policy-based debt restructuring process that benefits all stakeholders, particularly SMEs in Sri Lanka.

Lanka Trade Association Vice Chairman Shashika de Silva said the IMF appreciated the significance of the data shared during the dialogue, noting its value in informing policy decisions.

De Silva highlighted the critical role of the SME sector as the backbone of the economy, stressing the importance of IMF support for debt restructuring to ensure the sector’s resilience.

She said the IMF officials acknowledged the limitations of relying solely on tax collections to repay debts.

“We urged the IMF to unbundle and address issues impacting SMEs separately and to implement measures to protect them from financial distress, recognising their vital role in the economy,” de Silva added.

She hoped the IMF would continue discussions and advocate for the policymakers on necessary actions to support MSMEs.

She also said to hold wilful defaulters accountable and transparently disclose the details.



WhatsApp Image 2023 08 02 at 15.09.47

Follow Us


Exchange Rates


Electric Bill