Sri Lanka has to secure a staff-level arrangement with the IMF review team to unlock the second tranche of the 330 million US dollar extended fund facility, said acting finance minister Shehan Semasinghe.
Speaking to journalists yesterday (28), Semasinghe expressed confidence of reaching the agreement following the conclusion of discussions with relevant stakeholders.
“We are close to securing a staff-level agreement with the IMF. There are a few pending matters to be discussed, which will take place when the president returns,” he said.
“The IMF office in Sri Lanka has a few discussion points to hash out with the IMF headquarters. I guess that once these discussions conclude, we will be able to arrive at a staff-level agreement.”
The acting finance minister said the matter pertaining to government revenue was highlighted at the IMF review.
Government revenue indicates an increase of 43% compared to government revenue in 2022, he said.
There are fears the IMF agreement has been terminated, he said, adding that there is no truth in that, but the country has to arrive at some agreements after extensive talks.
“Concurrently, relevant institutions are executing necessary measures pertaining to debt restructuring.”
With this being the status quo, there is no need to feel anxious or harbour negative thoughts regarding the matter, he said.
Sajith alleges govt. failure
However, opposition leader Sajith Premadasa alleged the government has failed to fulfill the task they have undertaken in terms of restoring economic stability.
He was addressing a function in Akkarapattu.
“Now they are asking why the IMF has delayed in unlocking the second tranche. We do not need to respond to that. The IMF itself says that the government has failed to achieve government revenue targets.”
“They took the challenge pretending that they are economic experts. It was said that funds will overflow after he (Ranil Wicremesinghe) becomes the president.”
Premadasa added that the government has failed to achieve the revenue targets at least.