Sri Lanka to start next round of talks with creditors in April
Sri Lanka will kick off the next round of talks with creditors in the third week of April, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday, adding that the debt-stricken nation has started to receive funds from the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF has released the first tranche of about $330 million, part of a nearly $3 billion bailout approved by it on Monday, Wickremesinghe told parliament.
“This will create opportunities for low-interest credit, restore foreign investors’ confidence and lay the foundation for a strong new economy,” he said.
The IMF bailout is expected to catalyse additional support to the tune of $3.75 billion from the likes of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other lenders. It also clears the way for Sri Lanka to restructure a substantial part of its $84 billion worth total public debt.
Sri Lankan officials will start the next round of talks with bondholders and bilateral creditors in the third week of April, Wickremesinghe said, adding that a fully transparent process will be followed.
Sri Lanka also aims to reduce inflation to a single digit by mid-2023 and later to 4%-6%, Wickremesinghe said. The country’s National Consumer Price Index (LKNCPI=ECI) rose an annual 53.6% in February.
This was the 17th IMF bailout for Sri Lanka and the third since the country’s decades-long civil war ended in 2009.
Economic mismanagement coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic left Sri Lanka severely short of dollars for essential imports at the beginning of last year, tipping the island nation into its worst financial crisis in seven decades.
Unlike previous bailouts, which were mainly used to bolster foreign exchange reserves, the funds from the current programme can also be used for government spending, senior IMF official Masahiro Nozaki said on Tuesday.
- Sri Lanka to initiate new online passport application system May 30, 2023
- India extends USD 1 Billion Credit Line for Sri Lanka until March 2024 May 30, 2023
- Cabinet approves resume of the Colombo Light Rail Transit project May 30, 2023
- Sri Lanka Government to implement strict law enforcement against religious disharmony May 30, 2023
- Food insecurity improved in Sri Lanka but prevails within specific regions – FAO and WFP May 29, 2023
- ADB approves $350 Million for Sri Lanka economic stabilization programme May 29, 2023
- Ven. Rajangane Saddharathana Thera arrested May 29, 2023