Sri Lanka says ‘positive news’ coming from IMF on $2.9bn package

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe expected to address parliament on progress made in IMF negotiations.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst economic crisis in its modern history [File: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Sri Lanka is on the verge of getting “very positive news” from the International Monetary Fund on a $2.9bn programme for the country, a government minister has said, while a senior source said it had also won debt restructuring support from China.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said he would deliver a special statement in parliament on Tuesday to “explain to the nation the current state of the economy and progress on IMF negotiations”.

The island nation of 22 million is struggling with its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years.

“Sri Lanka is on the verge of getting very positive news from the IMF,” the junior finance minister, Shehan Semasinghe, told parliament.

“The IMF programme is essential for us and Sri Lanka has worked very hard since last September to secure it.”

A senior Sri Lankan government official said the Export-Import Bank of China had written to the IMF supporting Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring programme, which is critical to securing final approval for the loan.

“It is our expectation that the IMF will consider all the prior actions by Sri Lanka and these financing assurances favourably and approve the programme soon,” said the source, declining to be named as they were not authorised to talk to the media.

Source: Reuters