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Sri Lanka’s securing of IMF’s third tranche challenging – State Minister

By: Staff Writer

April 02, Colombo (LNW): Sri lanka has made substantial progress in the debt restructuring program. The second review with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was finalized two weeks ago and has been approved at the staff-level. However, obtaining the third instalment has become increasingly challenging, Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said.

The IMF Board approved a 48-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of SDR 2.286 billion (about US$3 billion) to support Sri Lanka’s economic policies and reforms.

The objectives of the EFF-supported program are to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, safeguarding financial stability, and stepping up structural reforms to unlock Sri Lanka’s growth potential.

All program measures are mindful of the need to protect the most vulnerable and improving governance.Close collaboration between Sri Lanka and all its creditors will be critical to expedite a debt treatment

Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe emphasized the significant progress made under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, affirming his capability to tackle the country’s economic crisis effectively.

Stressing the necessity of President Wickremesinghe’s continued leadership, Semasinghe cautioned against the misconception that anyone could manage the country’s affairs, highlighting the unique expertise and suitability of President Wickremesinghe for the task.

The Finance State Minister further announced that following the distribution of relief benefits to 2.4 million “Aswesuma” recipients, plans are underway to conduct a follow-up survey.

Expressing his views further, State Minister Semasinghe said, “Following the call for applications for the “Aswesuma” second phase, authorities anticipate receiving around 400,000 submissions. This will complete the provision of insurance for 2.4 million beneficiaries.

“The current stability and positive trajectory have been the result of meticulous planning and strategic decisions.

It is widely believed that by staying the course with the current program, the country can surpass a 2% economic growth rate in the year 2024.

This optimistic outlook underscores the significance of maintaining effective leadership and prudent economic strategies moving forward.”

“Although the exchange rate has strengthened and inflation has dropped significantly from 70% to 5%, there have been public complaints about not seeing the benefits of these reduced prices. This issue has emerged due to unregulated prices in the black market.

To address this, the Minister of Commerce has announced plans to launch a weekly notification system for wholesale prices starting next week. This move is aimed at enhancing transparency in wholesale pricing, allowing the public to have a clearer understanding and estimation of retail prices.”

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