IMF ready for support programme | Daily News

IMF ready for support programme

* Implement credible, coherent strategy
* All options on the table
* Discussions to begin soon

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday said that it stands ready to discuss all options to overcome the mounting economic challenges faced by Sri Lanka.

IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice at a press conference in Washington, DC, said that the IMF intends to begin discussions with Sri Lankan authorities on a programme to support the country at this crucial juncture.

Rice, during the press conference, highlighted the importance of having a credible and coherent strategy to restore micro-economic stability and debt sustainability for protecting vulnerable groups through strengthened and well-targeted social safety nets.

The IMF recently concluded its Article IV consultations with Sri Lanka and the Executive Board recommended a gradual return to a market-determined and flexible (floating) exchange rate to facilitate external adjustments and rebuild international reserves which have dwindled to less than US$ 3 billion. The Sri Lanka Rupee has already been floated.

“That was our consultation with Sri Lanka. Beyond that I am not in a position to share further details at this point but I can tell you that the IMF stands ready to discuss all options for and with Sri Lanka,” he said.

Meanwhile, an IMF delegation comprising its Asia Pacific Department Director Dr. Changyong Rhee, Deputy Director Dr. Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf and IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives Dr. Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday, where they focused on several matters of interest.

In his address to the Nation on Wednesday, President Rajapaksa disclosed that the Government would work with the IMF, having scrutinized its proposals. Many leading economists have suggested in recent weeks that Sri Lanka should seek an IMF bailout to come out of the present crisis that has impacted all sectors of the economy. 

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