IMF to review Sri Lanka’s request for Rapid Credit Facility

IMF to review Sri Lanka’s request for Rapid Credit Facility

IMF to review Sri Lanka’s request for Rapid Credit Facility

Written by Staff Writer

17 Apr, 2020 | 1:59 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week said it is reviewing Sri Lanka’s request to join its Rapid Credit Facility under which financial assistance is granted under limited conditions.

“…we are now discussing with the government whether they want to switch their previous program into our new Rapid Facilities,” Changyong Rhee, Director for the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department said.

Sri Lanka is already receiving a loan worth 1.5 billion dollars from the global lender’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) disbursed over a period of four years.

According to the IMF, the seventh and final tranche, worth at least 190 million dollars, expected to be granted this year, is likely to be delayed.

Meanwhile, the global lender also predicted Asia’s economic growth rate to sink to an all-time low for the first time in the last 60 years.

“Asia’s growth rate in 2020 is expected to 0 percent,” Rhee said observing that the impact of the coronavirus on the region will be severe, across the board, and unprecedented.

The IMF Director, however, noted that the Asian region’s growth still fares better than the other regions.

“For 2021, there is hope. If containment policies succeed, we will see a rebound in growth. However, it is highly uncertain how this year will progress,” he predicted calling on Asian countries to deploy all possible policies within their reach.

Rhee noted that emerging markets with limited fiscal space should use government spendings in a flexible manner to assist small and medium enterprises.

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