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Sri Lanka receives first tranche of IMF bailout

CNA – Sri Lanka has received the first tranche of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme, President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.

The crisis-ridden island nation was scheduled to receive a USD330 million tranche, the first part of a nearly USD3 billion bailout approved by the IMF on Monday.

“This sets the stage for Sri Lanka to have better fiscal discipline and improved governance,” Wickremesinghe said.

The IMF bailout is expected to catalyse additional support to the tune of USD3.75 billion from the likes of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other lenders.

It clears the way for Sri Lanka to rework a substantial part of its USD84 billion worth of public debt.

State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said in an interview that Sri Lanka is ready to engage in restructuring talks with bilateral and private creditors to recover debt sustainability as “soon as possible”.

This was the 17th IMF bailout for Sri Lanka and the third since the country’s decades-long civil war ended in 2009.