IMF: Sri Lanka Must Stay Focused On Recovery

IMF Prioritizes Program Objectives as Sri Lanka Heads to Elections

by Zulfick Farzan 14-06-2024 | 12:00 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reiterated the importance of adhering to program objectives as Sri Lanka approaches its upcoming elections.

"On the question with respect to elections, first, it is important to note that it is of course up to the people of Sri Lanka to decide on the outcome in a democratic process," stated Peter Breuer, Senior IMF Mission Chief for Sri Lanka.

Breuer affirmed the IMF's respect for Sri Lanka's democratic process, noting, "We fully respect the democratic process for elections to take place in any country. We adapt to that process, so this may affect the timing of our missions that we conduct in order to discuss compliance with the program and reforms going forward."

Although the elections have not yet been called, Breuer assured that the IMF would work with Sri Lankan authorities to adjust their schedule accordingly once the elections are announced. "We will await that and then discuss with the authorities how we can adapt our schedule to that of the elections," he concluded.

He esaid that the primary focus should remain on achieving the IMF-supported program's objectives to help Sri Lanka emerge from one of the worst crises in its history.

At the same time he acknowledged the existence of various proposals on how to achieve these objectives, stating, "We are willing to listen to different views on how these program objectives can be reached. These need to be realistic and achievable within the timeframe of the program."

He highlighted the progress Sri Lanka has made in its recovery efforts but cautioned that the country is not yet out of the woods.

"It will be important to safeguard the hard-won gains. A key priority in the time ahead is to persevere with the reforms that will enable stable and inclusive economic growth and avoid slipping into another crisis," Breuer added.