Sri Lanka has made good progress in negotiations with IMF – CBSL chief

Nandalal Weerasinghe - Central Bank Governor of Sri Lanka

Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe. (Photo: CBSL)

The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe says that Sri Lanka has made “good progress” in the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are aimed at clinching a bailout package.

“I can announce that we have made good progress in the negotiations with the IMF. Hopefully, we will be able to reach the first milestone, a staff-level agreement with the IMF soon,” the central bank chief told reporters in Colombo.

Delivering the interim budget speech for 2022 earlier today, President Ranil Wickremesinghe had also said that talks with the IMF had reached the “final stage”.

Negotiations with the IMF, which has a team of officials visiting Sri Lanka, had made headway, said Wickremesinghe.

“Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have successfully reached its final stage. Discussions on debt restructuring will be held with the main countries that provide loan assistance to our country,” the President had said.

Unveiling the measures in parliament, President Ranil Wickremesinghe added that the government would aim to rein in inflation and introduce legislation to bolster central bank independence.

Sri Lankan officials hope the budget will be followed by a preliminary, staff-level agreement with the IMF for a loan package worth between $2 billion and $3 billion.

The revised budget estimates project revenues of 2 trillion Sri Lankan rupees ($5.6 billion) in 2022, down from an initial figure of 2.23 trillion.

Total expenditure is set to rise to 4.4 trillion rupees, exceeding the earlier estimate of 3.9 trillion.