Period to seek IMF assistance has ended – Harsha de Silva

Harsha De Silva

The opposition claims the government cannot depend on assistance from the International Monetary Fund anymore, since the period to seek IMF support has come to an end.

Speaking during a media briefing this morning, Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva said the fuel crisis has escalated into an energy crisis and thereby affecting the stability of the country’s banking system.

MP de Silva said the country’s financial crisis escalated due to it not being addressed in a timely manner adding the crisis cannot be solved by a domestic process as claimed by certain groups or by foreigners visiting Sri Lanka and spending money on hotel stays.

The Parliamentarian said if the present situation continues, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal will have to issue directives to the Bank of Ceylon and the Peoples Bank to not provide loans to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.

When questioned by media over the government’s claims that it will seek IMF assistance if the public agrees to the rules and regulations of the International Monetary Fund, MP de Silva said the IMF does not impose regulations on any country when providing assistance.

The MP challenged the present administration to prove if the IMF has ever imposed any such laws or regulations.

He said the IMF only agrees with the proposals submitted by the respective government where it outlines the relevant procedures including the process to stabilize the economy and the overall of the reform programme.

He added it was similar to how banks agree on project proposals submitted by potential customers.

MP de Silva said during the previous occasion when the government obtained IMF assistance, then-President Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa conveniently left the country on the day scheduled to sign agreements with the IMF leaving Ajith Nivard Cabraal and acting Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to deal with matters.

(Source: News Radio)