IMF Agreement will give Sri Lanka confidence – President

IMF Agreement will give Sri Lanka confidence – President

IMF Agreement will give Sri Lanka confidence – President

Written by Zulfick Farzan

16 Aug, 2022 | 9:37 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the country is at the nitty gritty with respect to the IMF Staff Level Agreement.

"Quarter percent can make a difference between prosperity and disaster," he said adding that when that is over the Staff Level Agreement with the IMF will come into effect and that will give Sri Lanka confidence.

"Money will come from some other donors, multi-lateral organizations, investors," he said adding that Financial Advisor Lazard is preparing Sri Lanka's debt sustainability plan.

The President said that the country must first enter into discussions with the official creditors.

"There are two groups. The west which thinks of a haircut, and the Chinese who would like to give additional loans to pay off the existing loans," said Wickremesinghe.

He said that Sri Lanka must have one approach and the country is discussing with Japan how that can be achieved, and then will start talks with China, and then India.

The President said that the most difficult issue is dealing with the private creditors.

"The monies that are invested there are not all from multi-billionaires. A lot of the money is from pension funds, other earnings, and banks. A haircut means those pensioners have to take a loss," said the President.

There is no looking back, said Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday (16) adding the country must now think ahead rather than thinking about returning to what it was in 2019/20.

"The situation here is normal, and I will not be extending the emergency and I think it will lapse at the end of the week," said the President on the State of Emergency that he imposed recently.

The President said Sri Lanka will have a future only if there is a change in attitude, if not Sri Lanka will become another Lebanon.

"Whether we like it or not, there are no choices in the solutions. The way we have gone has left us with only one path. There were times when we were looking at getting US$ 2 -3 million just to pay off a bill. We are out of that stage. But, we are not out of the woods," warned the President.

He said that Sri Lanka cannot go on as an import-dependent economy with the balance of trade not in the country's favor.

 

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