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IMF’s US$ 1.5 bn third tranche reports made public

Mangala ensures transparency as FM:

The International Monetary Fund yesterday made public a letter sent by the Sri Lankan Government to secure the third tranche of US$ 1.5 billion loan facility assured by the Fund on a directive of Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

Although the letter was dated June 23, 2017, the letter was not in the public domain. Minister Mangala Samaraweera has informed IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde that this letter,its attachments and associated staff reports can be made public in compliance with the government’s policy of maintaining transparency in their affairs.

The Minister’s decisions portrays the new management’s readiness to ensure transparency in all their affairs.No correspondence or reports between the government and international monetary agencies were made public during the rule of the previous government and the public were kept in dark about what was included in the documents and agreements.

There are some strong pledges to make State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) more profitable and efficient.

“With technical assistance from the IMF we identified outstanding obligations of the central Government and SOEs totalling Rs. 1.36 trillion in end 2015”, the government’s report to IMF said.

The present government has settled Rs. 58 billion of that in 2016.

“The financial condition of some of our state enterprises and ultimate responsibility for their existing obligations are a challenge we seek to address and resolve as part of the program. Sri Lanka currently has about 200 public enterprises representing a substantial share of the nation’s economic activity,” it said.

The government in its report to the IMF has outlined measures planned to be adopted to promote fiscal management and transparency to address past irregularities in public financial management and prevent future occurrance. “For both credibility and to fully meet our financial commitments, we see careful monitoring of government spending commitments as essential”, the report said.