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Saturday, February 4, 2023

SL should have embraced IMF earlier: Minister

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Colombo: Sri Lanka would not have landed in a economic mess if only previous governments had adhered to the agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said in remarks published on Wednesday.

Admitting that the country was experiencing the worst economic crisis, Siyambalapitiya warned that the government would be under the IMF’s scrutiny this time around, The Island newspaper reported.

The MP, who was also a Minister when Mahinda Rajapaksa was the President, said that successive governments hadn’t been honest with the IMF.

“We conveniently forgot what was promised to the IMF after having received a couple of tranches,” he said, adding that the IMF would be alert now.

The Minister said the first tranche amounting to $400 mn was expected in January 2023. Sri Lanka had received IMF loans on 16 previous occasions too.

In spite of clear indications that Sri Lanka was heading for an unprecedented crisis, the powers that be refused to seek IMF interventions. Instead, they continued the same harmful policies, he said.

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