India backs SL at IMF meetings
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Managing Director (MD) Kristalina Georgieva and India's Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman have pledged to Finance Minister Ali Sabry, who is with his delegation at IMF Headquarters in Washington, D.C., that they will fully support Sri Lanka in strengthening the financial assistance provided to the country.
Sitharaman, who was also at IMF Headquarters on 18 April, said India would fully support the IMF's deliberations with Sri Lanka, particularly on the special request for expediting an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
IMF MD Georgieva made reference to the help India is providing Sri Lanka during its economic crisis. Sitharaman said the IMF should support and urgently provide financial assistance to Sri Lanka and assured the Finance Minister that the IMF would continue to actively engage with Sri Lanka, according to the Indian Ministry of Finance website.
Sitharaman and her delegation had a bilateral meeting with Georgieva on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB) Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. and met Minister Sabry.
The IMF has pledged their full support to Sri Lanka, and a positive response has been received to speed up the process of strengthening the assistance provided to the country, Minister Sabry said in his official statement.
IMF MD Georgievamet Ali Sabry at the IMF Headquarters on 18 April and commended the Finance Minister on the steps taken to alleviate Sri Lanka's financial situation, the Minister said.
The Minister of Finance has made a request for a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) with the IMF and IMF has subsequently informed Minister Sabry that India had also made representations on behalf of Sri Lanka for an RFI. It had been communicated that IMF will consider the special request made, despite it being outside the standard circumstances for the issuance of an RFI.
Finance Minister of India Sitharaman and the top level Indian Economic delegation met Finance Minister Sabry in Washington, D.C. on the same day.
Sitharaman has assured India’s fullest support to Sri Lanka to move forward and has emphasised on India’s commitment to strengthen the development of the economy in Sri Lanka and building stronger bonds between the two nations as they move forward together.
The Indian Finance Minister has also said further arrangements have been made to hold several more rounds of talks (19 April). Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana and Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe also participated in these meetings.