We are not dictated by IMF policy: Finance Minister

Dec 17, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister told Parliament Wednesday that the country has a strong balance of payments environment and rejected reports of a gloomy outlook for 2016.

“There is no issue with the balance of payments. Our problem is with the trade balance. Our exports have decreased and imports increased,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

“But the imports are for capital nature. So it is not such a dangerous thing. The balance of payments is strong. As of this moment we are not dictated by IMF policy,” he said.

The balance of payments is estimated to have recorded an overall deficit of 2,316 million US dollars during the first three quarters of 2015 in comparison to a surplus of 1,996 million US dollars recorded a year earlier.

Finance Minister further stated that the currency devaluation process has nothing to do with the dictates of the IMF.

“We have not taken a single step or anything in that nature. Only thing is that we have to be realistic to the external threats that are there.” Karunanayake said.