Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today that the first round of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  ended on a  successful note but aid would depend on the debt restructuring programme that is to be devised by Sri Lanka.

He was optimistic that Sri Lanka could enter into a staff-level agreement  with the IMF once the debt restructuring programme is handed over in August. Making a statement in Parliament he said that the legal and financial experts they have hired are preparing the debt restructuring programme.

“Our country has held talks with the IMF before. But this time the situation is different from all those previous occasions and it is a difficult task ahead of us. In the past, we have held discussions as a developing country. In such a scenario, both parties have only to reach an agreement on the EFF or Extended Fund Facility. It is like moving along a straight line.

The situation is totally different at present. We are now taking part in the negotiations as a bankrupt country. In the circumstances, we have to face a more complicated process than  the previous negotiations. Once a staff-level agreement is reached, this will be submitted to the IMF Board of Directors for approval. But we have to submit a plan for our debt sustainability to the IMF board of directors since we a bankrupt economy.

 Only if they are satisfied with that plan we would be able to reach an agreement at the staff level. This is not an easy process. However, we have  been able to end the first round of discussion effectively despite these complications he said.


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