Tailspin

Hopes of securing US$ 80 mn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month has been put off, due to the current turn of events in Sri Lanka, a top official said Tuesday.
A review mission led by Jehangir Aziz, Deputy Division Chief of the IMFs Asia Pacific unit, gave the countrys macro fundamentals good marks. rn

rnBut the delegation expressed concern about the continuing political instability, which would have an impact on the governments 2004 budget proposals.rn

rnLast weeks visit comes ahead of the IMF board meeting mid next month, to review Sri Lankas economic situation before disbursing a second US$ 80 mn tranche under the Funds concessionary lending window endash the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).rn

rnThe second tranche of the US$ 567 mn package was due in December. But a delayed budget, which was sparked off due to the ongoing political crisis, prompted the IMF to put off the decision till next month.rn

rnIMF approved loan package (largest ever granted to Sri Lanka)