Sri Lanka budget deficit to be 4.7-pct in 2017, FinMin tells IMF


Sep 14, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister said that the island plans on reducing the budget deficit to 4.7 percent in 2017.

“We had a budget deficit of 6.7 percent of the GDP last year and this year’s target will be 5.4 percent. it will be further reduced to 4.7 percent in 2017,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

“The government was very clear in gradually reducing the overall fiscal deficit to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2020.”

He made these comments at a meeting with IMF representatives in the island for a mission review of the 1.5 billion US dollar loan approved for Sri Lanka under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to support the country’s economic reform agenda.

Jaewoo Lee IMF Representative and the Country Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives Eteri Kvintradze met the minister of finance at his ministry and reviewed the progress of the reforms agenda of the government.

The Secretary to Treasury R.H.S. Samaratunga also participated in this discussion.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June approved a 36-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with Sri Lanka for an amount equivalent to SDR 1.1 billion (about US$1.5 billion) to support the country’s economic reform agenda.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake who thanked the IMF for its timely assistance explained in details the economic targets set by the unity government.

The Minister also briefed the IMF representatives on the Policies and programmes undertaken to support adjustment and reforms. Apart from the Fiscal consolidation, the other areas included under reforms are revenue mobilization, Public financial management and the reforms in the State owned enterprises.

The IMF mission Representatives admired the progress made in the right direction under the reforms agenda, a statement said.

They also expressed the hope that the Unity Government of Sri Lanka would be able to achieve desired economic progress in the near future as stimulated in their reforms agenda.

The first tranche of the Loan was disbursed in June and the rest will be disbursed in five equal tranches and the next tranche is due in November.

The reports of the review meeting the Mission Representatives held with the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake in the presence of the Treasury Secretary R.H.S.Samaratunga will be tabled in the IMF November regular meeting ahead of disbursement of the 2nd tranche of the IMF Loan.