Sri Lanka starts implementing many of the challenging IMF policy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday commended Sri Lanka’s progress on the economic reforms.

Addressing a press conference, Krishna Srinivasan, director of the Asia and Pacific Department of IMF, said the reform program supported under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement is built on strong policy measures and prioritizes five key pillars and Sri Lanka has already started implementing many of the challenging policy actions in these five areas.

“It is now essential to continue the reform momentum under strong ownership by the authorities and the Sri Lankan people, more broadly,” he said.

He added that anti-corruption and governance reforms are imperative to ensure the hard-won gains from the reforms benefit the Sri Lankan people.

Sri Lanka is the first country in Asia that has undergone the IMF governance diagnostic exercise, according to the IMF.

The IMF governance diagnostic report is expected to be published by September this year, and the mission visited Colombo in March and engaged closely with stakeholders and civil society organizations on this critical reform area, Srinivasan said.

He also said the economic impact of the reforms on the poor and vulnerable needs to be mitigated with appropriate measures.

The IMF welcomes the authorities’ firm commitment to strengthening social safety nets, including through a minimum spending floor, well-targeted spending through the new social registry and establishment of objective eligibility criteria, he said.

The IMF in March this year approved a 48-month extended arrangement under EFF of about 3 billion U.S. dollars to support Sri Lanka’s economic policies and reforms.

Xinhua

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