A a delegation consisting of Finance Minister Ali Sabry, PC, Ministry of Finance Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, will participate in a five-day discussion with the Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington from April 18-23, the Treasury said.
The Sri Lankan delegation to the IMF will be assisted by the three-member Presidential Advisory Group on Multilateral Engagement and Debt Sustainability appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week.
Former Governor of the CBSL and former Director of the Economic Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Professor of Development Practice, Georgetown University and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Professor Shantha Devarajan and former Director of the The IMF Institute’s Capacity Development Institute and the IMF’s African Department’s former deputy director, Dr. Sharmini Coorey, are members of this advisory group.
The Ministry of Finance on Saturday launched a call for proposals from leading international financial and legal advisers for the management of external debt, as the country officially commits to the IMF for support. The deadline for receipt of proposals is April 16. The scope of work of financial advisers includes assessing outstanding debt in the context of maintaining sound macroeconomic fundamentals and advising the government on strategies to adopt to manage such debt and facilitate the execution of such strategies. .
Assess the government’s current fiscal position and highlight key areas to focus on in the negotiations, design a mechanism and processes to achieve said economic and political objectives in pursuit of said debt management and reform, and design a mechanism to engage with the IMF to best achieve the required fiscal targets are other tasks expected of them.
They should also help improve Sri Lanka’s medium and long-term debt management and reform strategies and recommend a strategy to achieve the best possible results in negotiations with the IMF and government creditors.
The scope of work of legal consultants includes advising the government on its debt management strategies and facilitating the execution of those strategies, and reviewing legal and regulatory issues on debt management while highlighting the key areas to focus on in the negotiations. Meanwhile, CBSL Governor Dr. Weerasinghe said yesterday that Sanjeeva Jayawardena, PC, and Dr. Ranee Jayamaha will continue as appointed members of the Currency Board.
“They have always acted in a very independent, impartial, professional and diligent manner and have contributed very positively to all the efforts of the CBSL, while being members of the Monetary Council in the past. As I have the utmost faith and confidence in their complete professionalism, I look forward to receiving their continued contribution and valuable advice to the Nation, to the Monetary Board and to myself,” the Governor said, Dr Weerasinghe.
International media reported that the IMF on Saturday said it was “very concerned” about the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka and had started a technical dialogue with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank officials for a program loan.
“We are committed to assisting Sri Lanka in accordance with our policies, and will be discussing a possible program with senior policymakers in the days and weeks to come,” the IMF’s mission chief for Sri Lanka told Reuters. Lanka, Masahiro Nozaki, in a statement. are monitoring political and economic developments very closely,” Nozaki said.