In a press briefing, Cabinet Spokesperson & Plantation Minister Ramesh Pathirana stated that Sri Lanka is open to discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilateral lenders for assistance as the forex crisis worsens.
“Sri Lanka has sought IMF assistance multiple times in the past & we are open to that option,” stated the Minister.
The willingness to enter into negotiations comes as the country’s foreign reserves dropped to $2.36 billion, affecting the import of essential goods and fuel. At the same time, the government has to deal with debt repayment obligations of $4 billion this year.
Opposition leaders and economists continued to push the government into seeking IMF assistance. They urged the government to table the upcoming IMF assessment in parliament, conducted as regular Article IV consultations.
Sri Lanka’s current fuel stock is only sufficient for a few days and is struggling to arrange a $35 million payment for 40,000 tons of diesel. This shipment will only meet the nation’s demand for 6 days.
The shortage of fuel has also affected the nation’s power supply, with the government resorting to daily power cuts.
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