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Saturday, 13 January 2018 - 8:08
Sri Lanka is on right track, says IMF
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The International Monetary Fund says Sri Lanka’s performance under the Extended Fund Facility programme has remained broadly on track despite a series of weather-related supply shocks.
 
Following the Executive Board’s discussion of the 3rd EFF review, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Acting Chair and Deputy Managing Director of IMF, said country’s fiscal performance has been satisfactory and all targets until September were met.
 
He said Sri Lanka’s high debt burden, large gross financing needs, and weak financial performance of state-owned enterprises increases the importance of further fiscal consolidation.
 
"Timely progress in structural reforms, including tax administration and energy pricing, will support fiscal consolidation”, he added.
 
Sri Lanka’s budget targets a primary surplus of 1 percent of GDP and front-loads fiscal consolidation towards the authorities’ objective of reducing the overall fiscal deficit to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2020.
 
Meanwhile, in a letter to IMF’s Christine Lagarde, Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor have requested the modification of the performance criterion on central government primary balance and the indicative target on tax revenue for December 2017.
 
The primary balance of the central government on the cash basis is defined as central government's revenues and grants minus expenditures and net lending, plus interest payments.
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