IMF staff team due in Lanka


On Tuesday, Sri Lanka had requested 17 countries which had formally formed an official creditor committee for debt treatment…reports Susitha Fernando

An IMF staff team comprising Krishna Srinivasan, Director of the Asia and Pacific Department is to visit Sri Lanka from May 11 to 23.

Visiting as part of regular consultations ahead of the first review mission later this year, the team also comprised of Peter Breuer, Senior Mission Chief for Sri Lanka, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF and Sarwat Jahan, IMF Resident Representative in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Sri Lanka had requested 17 countries which had formally formed an official creditor committee for debt treatment.

Co-chaired by India, Japan and France, the committee includes Paris Club creditors and other official bilateral creditors.

“This first meeting occurred after the successful launch of the debt restructuring process for Sri Lanka led by the co-chairs on April 13,” the Paris Club said in a statement.

“The Sri Lankan authorities attended the meeting and formally presented their request for debt treatment. They reiterated their commitment to transparency and comparability of treatment towards their official bilateral creditors. The IMF and World Bank representatives presented the latest macroeconomic developments regarding Sri Lanka and the current status of their relationship with the country,” the Paris Club stated.

“The creditor committee takes note of the open letter addressed by the President of Sri Lanka to all its official bilateral creditors on March 14, 2023 assuring transparency and comparability of treatment for all external creditors and ensuring that no side arrangements inconsistent with comparability of treatment will be made with any creditor. The committee welcomes passage of the resolution for implementation of the IMF-supported programme by the Sri Lankan Parliament on April 28,” the Paris Club added.

The creditor committee for Sri Lanka had given an undertaking to pursue its work to find an appropriate solution to Sri Lanka’s external debt vulnerabilities, consistent with the parameters of the IMF programme.

It stresses the importance for private creditors and other official bilateral creditors of Sri Lanka to provide a debt treatment on terms at least as favourable as the ones agreed by this creditor committee, in line with the comparability of the treatment principle.

It reiterates its invitation to other bilateral official creditors to formally join the creditor committee.

Sri Lanka’s biggest bilateral lender, China and Paris Club members with no eligible claims, Saudi Arabia and Iran attended the meeting as observers, while the representatives of the IMF and the World Bank Group also attended the meeting as well.

Going through the worst ever economic crisis since Independence, the IMF has approved a $2.9 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for the Indian ocean island nation to help come out of the crisis.

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