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POSTED AT 10:53 AM 17-01-2019

IMF team to resume EFF talks in February

Following discussions in Washington this week

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr Harsha De Silva and Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Washington on Tuesday.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team will visit Colombo in mid-February to resume the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program discussions, according to a statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on meeting with Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy in Washington on Tuesday.

Following the meeting, Lagarde made the following statement:

“I was pleased to meet with Minister Samaraweera and Governor Coomaraswamy this afternoon. We discussed the challenging economic environment and the policy priorities for the country. The authorities stressed Sri Lanka’s continued commitment to their economic reform agenda under the IMF-supported program.

“We agreed that a strong policy mix, with effective implementation of that agenda, is key to strengthening confidence, while putting Sri Lanka on a sustainable, high-quality growth path that would benefit its people. “The IMF remains ready to support the Sri Lankan authorities in these endeavors and an IMF team is scheduled to visit Colombo in mid-February to resume program discussions.”

In mid November last year, IMF said it had delayed discussions on Sri Lanka’s next loan tranche due to the country’s political crisis that began after October 26.

The IMF has disbursed over US dollar 1 billion out of a US dollar 1.5 billion three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan it agreed in 2016, in order to support the reform agenda.

In September 2018, the IMF said in a statement its mission had made significant progress toward reaching a staff-level agreement with the government on completing the fifth review of the EFF and discussions will continue during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in October.