Govt. to enact law to safeguard IMF programme amid political uncertainty

25 March 2024 06:52 am – 13      – 2368

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Colombo, March 25 (Daiy Mirror) – Amid fears that the current programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be derailed in case of a regime change, the government is planning to enact an economic transformation law to ensure sustainability of the project despite political changes, a minister said yesterday.

The International community, particularly the Western countries, has emphasized the importance of continuity with the the economic reform programme supported by a 4-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement.

The EFF arrangement was approved by the IMF Executive Board for a total amount of US$3 billion on March 20, 2023.

The IMF which included the latest mission said the authorities are making good progress in implementing an ambitious reform agenda under the EFF with commendable outcomes, including rapid disinflation, robust reserve accumulation, and initial signs of economic growth while preserving the stability of the financial system.

However, the two main parties in the opposition – the National People’s Power (NPP) and the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have vowed to renegotiate the IMF if they win power at the future elections. The Presidential election is scheduled for later this year while there is a political discussion on a snap general election before .

State Minister of Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said the new bill would be introduced by Parliament in May, this year .

“It will be an economic transformation law that will give legal effect to the programme for its sustainability. Then, it becomes a law of the country bound by any party in power to implement ,” he said.