The government is expected to get $ 800 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) soon to ease the current foreign exchange reserve crisis, Treasury officials quoted the Sunday Times reported today (11). However, the report also states that Sri Lanka needs to find another $ 1.2 billion in loans or investments in the face of insufficient funds.
Currently, there is a severe dollar crisis in the Sri Lankan financial market and Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves are at a record low, as a result, the country’s dollar reserves have fallen to $ 4.2 billion. Debt repayment of US $ 1 billion is due this month and the $ 800 million loans from the International Monetary Fund will be utilized to repay that amount, Central Bank sources said.
Sri Lanka seeks the loan through the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR). This fund is a special fund set up by the International Monetary Fund to protect the special reserves of its member countries. Accordingly, preliminary discussions have been held with the Fund regarding a plan to obtain a loan from the Fund at this critical juncture.
Also, a grace period for the return of undeclared foreign funds to Sri Lanka has been announced and a tax of 1 per cent will be levied on such foreign funds. The proposal was approved at the Cabinet meeting held last Monday. Accordingly, those who bring such funds into the country will be entitled to the concession until the 31st of December.