Colombo, Aug 18 (EFE).- The head of Sri Lanka’s central bank said on Thursday that he expected a preliminary agreement for a rescue package with the International Monetary Fund by the month end when a team from the global lender visits the crisis-ridden island nation.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) governor, P. Nandalal Weerasinghe, stated that the negotiations with the IMF were progressing well.
“The IMF mission is planning to come here towards the end of the month to complete or reach a staff level agreement with the policy package,” Weerasinghe said.
He said the country had reached all targets to finalize the package.
Weerasinghe said Sri Lanka would approach external creditors to restructure debt once an agreement is reached with the IMF.
“Once we reach an agreement, we will be approaching all bilateral and commercial creditors,” the governor said.
Sri Lanka reached out to the IMF for a bailout amid the worst economic crisis in over seven decades.
With no foreign exchange, the government defaulted on its debt payment and struggled to import essential goods, including fuel.
Prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed as the economic meltdown snowballed into a political crisis.
The bank announced Thursday that it left lending rates unchanged to ease the rising inflation.
The island nation of 22 million people has been battling the economic crisis for months that triggered a severe shortage of food and fuel amid dwindling foreign currency reserves.
Months-long mass protests forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign on July 13.
The parliament elected Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new president on July 20 to complete the rest of Rajapaksa’s five-year term, which ends in 2024. EFE