In The Press

SL contemplates standby agreement with IMF-PM


Sri Lanka has made a request from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help in rewriting the tax code and informed them the need for a standby agreement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

The unpredictable global economic and political scenarios will determine the fate of the global economy including Sri Lanka in the coming year, he said, addressing an event held yesterday to mark the 30th anniversary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

Sri Lanka"s economy is likely to reach a 6.5% growth next year and all efforts have to be mobilized towards reducing the budget deficit to 3.5% of the gross national production in the medium term by 2020, and reach the goal of becoming a high per-capita income country by 2030, he noted.

"We have to maintain our momentum and ensure whatever happens there is a 6.5% growth rate for next year."

"There may be some unforeseen circumstances which case not only our economies but most of the emerging market economies will have to take a downward plunder. But that"s not going to be on macroeconomic policies, it is going to be something outside that. But then from 6.5% what may be the problems we face we have to go to a higher growth rate."

"We have to achieve a 8% growth and aim at getting 9%. Now this is a difficult task but not impossible."

"We have to have structural reforms to facilitate investment and growth. We want to ensure an expanding and strong middle class in this country," the premier said. Speaking on the Colombo Port City Development Project, Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka will have a unique financial and business district in Colombo when the stalled Chinese funded Colombo port city project is resumed.

"Hopefully if the Port City projects gets underway; there will be some sort of landfill there ; that could have the makings of a special financial and business district which will be a unique one in South Asia," Wickremesinghe added.