Sri Lanka IMF document suppressed by government decision: official

Minister appoints Dr Swaminathan to IPACSL as Chairperson

Sept 23, 2009 (LBO) – Detailed International Monetary Fund documents showing the underlying basis for a stand-by loan to Sri Lanka have not been released by a decision of the island’s government, an official said. A storm has brewing in Sri Lanka over the suppression of IMF documents.

Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, from the Point Pedro Institute of Development, a private research body, has said the 2008 IMF staff report was suppressed at the request of Sri Lankan authorities.

In Sri Lanka debate on economics by political parties is mostly confined to ideology and not evidence.

Sri Lanka signed a series of agreements with the IMF during the 1980s, but there was little public scrutiny of state economic activity.

The then governments continued to deficit spend and create high levels of inflation and public had no access to independent evaluations of macro-economic management.

Sri Lanka at first only released the memorandum of economic policies governing a 2.6 billion US dollar standby loan to the island. Later a technical memorandum of understanding was also released.

But the staff report which gives the rationale for the loan was not released.

“Publishing that report is the prerogat