Officials from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in Sri Lanka for an economic review but there is no discussion on any additional loan facility, the Sri Lankan Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said.

“No, this is a routine visit,” he told to the Colombo weekly, when asked whether an earlier suggested US$ 500 million facility would be discussed.

He said the team was mainly studying the impact of policy changes made in February and March (when the US dollar was allowed to gain against the rupee). “We will consider our future relationship based on local needs and other possible global developments. That will be done on a future date and not at this mission,” he said.

Other senior CB officials also said the IMF was on a routine staff visit. “This visit is for an annual review of the economy and has nothing to do with any added loan or facility,” one senior official said.

When the IMF completed in July providing the last instalment in the $2.5 billion Stand-by Arrangement (SBA-loan), the CB said another additional $500 million was being considered to be requested from the Fund.

Opposition parties due to meet the visiting team are expected to raise concerns over governance issues and the need for the IMF to recognise this in loan requests.



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