IMF urges Sri Lanka to consider contingency measures if revenue measures fail

Mar 04, 2015 (LBO) -The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged Sri Lanka to have contingency measures in achieving the revised budget deficit target of 4.4 percent of gross domestic product if planned revenues fails, International Monetary Fund official said. “In the missions assessment, achieving a deficit of 4.4 percent of GDP will be challenging and the authorities should consider contingency measures should revenues fail to materialize as projected,” Todd Schneider, who led an IMF mission to Colombo said.

“Further one-off tax measures introduced to finance the Interim Budget do not in the mission’s view constitute a step toward a more effective tax system.”

The IMF mission said real GDP growth is estimated at 7.4 percent for 2014 and is likely to continue in the relatively robust range of 6-7 percent in 2015.

Inflation is expected to remain in the low single-digits, although some upward pressure may emerge as higher wages and salaries translate into increase demand, they said.

The external current account improved in 2014 and will likely strengthen further in 2015 given lower oil prices and further growth in exports, services trade and inward remittances, the IMF said.

The mission agreed with the authorities that prospects remain