IMF Approves $2.9 Billion Bailout For Sri Lanka

IMF Approves $2.9 Billion Bailout For Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka defaulted on its international debt in April 2022.


Sri Lanka’s president stated Monday that the Worldwide Financial Fund has accepted its request for a $2.9 billion bailout, elevating hopes for an easing of the island nation’s dire financial disaster.

The IMF’s board additionally confirmed it has accepted the mortgage, which clears the way in which for the discharge of funds and kicks off a four-year programme designed to shore up the South Asian nation’s financial system.

“I categorical my gratitude to the IMF and our worldwide companions for his or her help as we glance to get the financial system again on monitor for the long run by prudent fiscal administration and our bold reform agenda,” President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated in an announcement.

Sri Lanka defaulted on its international debt in April 2022 because the nation plunged into its worst financial downturn since independence due to a serious scarcity of international foreign money reserves.

The Indian Ocean nation of round 22 million individuals ran out of money to finance even essentially the most important imports, inflicting huge social unrest.

Widespread protests over financial mismanagement, acute shortages of meals, gasoline and medicines, and runaway inflation compelled president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the nation and resign in July.

Rajapaksa was changed by Wickremesinghe as president who has carried out powerful spending cuts and tax hikes in an try and safe the IMF help.

There was an extended delay to the IMF approving the package deal as a result of it took time to safe monetary assurances from China, Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral lender.

Beijing had stated this yr it was providing a two-year moratorium on its loans to Sri Lanka, however the concession fell wanting IMF expectations for the sustainability of the island’s debt.

Wickremesinghe had stated after China agreed to restructure its loans that he anticipated the primary tranche of the $2.9 billion IMF package deal could be made obtainable inside the month.

Earlier Monday, Wickremesinghe’s workplace stated he was in search of a 10-year moratorium on Sri Lanka’s international debt because the nation was out of international reserves to service its loans.

Officers concerned within the negotiations stated the phrases of debt restructuring should be finalised and agreed by all events earlier than June, when the IMF was anticipated to evaluate the bailout programme.

“Sri Lanka will be unable to attract down the second tranche until a debt restructuring plan is agreed with all collectors,” stated one of many officers, who requested to not be recognized.

Colombo can be banking on the IMF deal to unfreeze billions of {dollars} in international help for initiatives suspended since Sri Lanka defaulted on its loans final yr.

The federal government has already doubled taxes, elevated vitality tariffs threefold and slashed subsidies in an effort to satisfy the preconditions of the IMF bailout.

The austerity measures have additionally led to strikes that crippled the well being and logistics sectors final week. Wickremesinghe has stated he had no different however to go along with an IMF programme.

Sri Lanka’s financial system shrank by a document 7.8 p.c final yr because it grappled with its worst international trade disaster since independence from Britain in 1948.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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