Sri Lanka hosts IMF team as loan deal nears

April 30, 2009 (LBO) – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) ‘Safeguards Assessment’ mission is in Sri Lanka as talks on a 1.9 billion dollar loan nears its final stages, the central bank said in a statement. “The Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) facility sought by the government of Sri Lanka from the IMF has now reached an advanced level of finalization,” it said.

“In this regard, the Sri Lankan delegation to the IMF Spring Meetings held several discussions with senior staff of the IMF.

“Further, a Safeguards Assessment mission from the IMF is now in Colombo having discussions with senior officials of the government and the Central Bank as a part of the process,” the statement said.

All member countries of the IMF getting new loans are subject to safeguard assessments of the central bank.

This is meant to evaluate the central bank’s financial, accounting and auditing controls and ability to manage IMF funds.

The safeguards assessments are also meant to be a mechanism to prevent possible misuse of IMF funds.

Sri Lanka sought IMF help after its foreign exchange reserves got badly depleted in an effort to defend the rupee peg against the US dollar.

The central bank stopped supp