Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Director, recently paid a visit to Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Prime Minister’s Office in Colombo recenty (26) to express his appreciation for the political will demonstrated by the Sri Lankan leadership to expedite reforms and institute difficult tax increases for the sake of reviving the economy.
He indicated that almost all requirements for the IMF relief package for Sri Lanka have been met, and that the process will be finalized once the final assurances from major lending countries are received. “We will bat for you,” he said using cricket jargon.
He also mentioned that he was the Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India from 2018 to 2021.
The Prime Minister briefed the IMF delegation on the steps taken by the government to address the unprecedented economic challenges they were facing, as well as on their efforts to increase agricultural production for both local supply and export.
He also highlighted the need for welfare for the poorest segments of the society. Dr Subramanian agreed that a safety net should be provided to the economically vulnerable groups while restructuring debts and restoring the economy.
He further elaborated that public sector employees should be willing to make sacrifices, as they are at least assured of salaries, while many others have lost their sources of income.
Secretary to the Prime Minister, Anura Dissanayake, Deputy Governor of Central Bank Dr Chandranath Amarasekara, IMF Alternate Executive Director Dr. P K G Harischandra, Director and Dr. V D Wickramarachchi, Deputy Director of Economic Research Department of Central Bank, were also present during the discussion.