Sri Lankan president and IMF held second-round talks

On Friday (26), Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and a visiting IMF staff team held a second round of critical talks to finalise a bailout package for the struggling island nation.

According to the President’s Media Division, President Wickremesinghe joined the conversation via zoom, and positive ideas were exchanged between both sides.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had requested more information on electricity tariff revisions and the Excise Act, and it was decided at Friday’s (26) meeting to provide the requested information by next Monday.

According to the President’s Media Division, the IMF’s financial and legal advisors attended the meeting, and the next round of discussions is scheduled for August 31st.

During the discussion, the IMF negotiation panel’s head, Peter Breuer, Deputy Head Masahiro Nozaki, IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives Dr. Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, Chief of Staff to the President and Senior Advisor to the President on National Security Sagala Ratnayake, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, and other senior officers of the Central

The IMF is making its second visit in three months. The visit comes as Sri Lanka works to finalise a staff-level agreement with the Washington-based global lender for a USD 5 billion programme that could be the antidote to the country’s current economic woes.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Monday (22), Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe stated that once Sri Lanka reaches a Staff-Level agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the timeline for funding is set to approach all external creditors and begin negotiating in good faith to obtain payment relief.

Sri Lanka has not yet approached creditors, according to the Governor, because it is waiting for an agreement on debt targets at the Staff-Level Agreement with the IMF.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka stated that only external debt would be restructured and that domestic debt would be avoided due to the significant impact on the country’s banking sector.

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