As Expected

Sri Lanka’s request for a US$ 113.5 mn debt moratorium on interest payments due to the International Monetary Fund came through on Thu., freeing up some cash for emergency post-tsunami reconstruction bills. Sri Lanka’s request for a US$ 113.5 mn debt moratorium on interest payments due to the International Monetary Fund came through on Thu., freeing up some cash for emergency post-tsunami reconstruction bills. “The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved the extension of repayment expectations by Sri Lanka arising in the remainder of 2005, in the amount of SDR 74.2 million (about US$ 113.5 million),” the fund said.

The Washington based Fund’s Executive Board’s decision, comes after the Sri Lankan government asked donors for a debt moratorium on some US$ 700 mn interest payments due this year.

According to the IMF, Sri Lanka’s multilateral and bilateral debts total US$ 10.7 bn todate. But the Dec. 26 tsunami, which virtually wiped off the southern and eastern coastal belts of the island, killed over 30,000 people, rendered half a million homeless.

“The damage was enormous to life and property, and we estimate it will cost us initially between US$ 1.5 bn to US$ 1.