President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he had discussed the need for the debt restructuring program with all Sri Lanka’s creditors, including the 22-nation ‘Paris Club’ of 22 developed nations that hold much of the global debt and discuss solutions to debt crisis together.
The President made this statement while addressing the “Pratibha Abhisheka 2022” ceremony held last week.
Sri Lanka hoped to finalize its IMF bailout package, but missed a December deadline due to the delay in concluding debt restructure talks.
The six-months old Government led by President Wickremesinghe now hopes to complete the talks in the first quarter of 2023.
President Wickremesinghe also announced about the visit by Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar to Sri Lanka on January 19 while adding that India is in debt restructuring discussions.
“The government will receive $ 2.5 billion from the IMF. After that, we can get nearly 5 billion dollars from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The total will be $7.5 billion. Adding the $3 billion from the restructuring of unprofitable government agencies can add up to $10 billion, which will enable the economy to recover and bring the country out of this suffering.”
“We are currently working to secure IMF assistance as soon as possible. The countries that have given us loans have already stated their willingness to assist us. Japan and the Paris Club, two of our three major creditors, have expressed their willingness to assist. We have already begun talks with India and China. According to the discussions with China Exim Bank recently, we’re currently debating on how to restructure our debt. The Chinese side has agreed to move quickly.” President Wickremesinghe further said.
Meanwhile during a meeting with the trade union representatives at the President’s Office held on 13 the President pointed out that only option Sri Lanka has now is to seek the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Otherwise, we cannot recover. Hence, we must decide if we are to get their support or remain stagnated in this collapsed economic situation. My attempt is to reinvigorate the collapsed economy of the country.” President said.
“We are currently carrying out a debt restructuring program. We have already completed the negotiations with Japan which is one of the three main countries, Japan, China, and India from whom we have obtained loans.
We discussed with China’s EXIM Bank this week and by now we have commenced exchanging views on it. India’s Foreign Minister is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on the 19th to discuss the debt restructuring process. We are proceeding with these activities gradually.
Following these negotiations, we will receive USD 2.7 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in three or four instalments. In addition, we have the capacity to get USD 5 billion from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank etc. In addition, by the end of the year, a number of different programs are scheduled to recommence with Japan. Hence, we should keep on continuing these activities.”