Home » Ceylon Chamber of Commerce urges the public to support SL’s program with the IMF

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce urges the public to support SL’s program with the IMF

By: Staff Writer Colombo (LNW): At the invitation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently briefed key representatives of the IMF on recent economic developments in Sri Lanka, and their impact on the country’s economic trajectory. The discussions centred on critical topics such as interest rates, exchange rates, foreign trade, and the general political climate. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the IMF to gain insights into the perspectives of the business community regarding recent economic developments in Sri Lanka. Hulangamuwa expressed the Ceylon Chamber’s appreciation for the IMF’s initiative in organizing the meeting, and the opportunity to share the business community’s perspectives towards shaping effective policies for Sri Lanka’s economic progress. The meeting comprised high-level representatives of the IMF Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura, Asia and Pacific Department Deputy Director Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, Office of the Managing Director Advisor Chad Steinberg, IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka Dr. Sarwat Jahan, while the Ceylon Chamber was represented by Vice-Chairman Duminda Hulangamuwa, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has urged the public, political parties, trade unions and civil society to view Sri Lanka’s ongoing programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) positively and to support the reform process. Noting that Sri Lanka cannot afford to revert to an unsustainable subsidy-driven economy and a Central Bank-financed fiscal deficit, the Ceylon Chamber has also urged the government to prioritise said reforms. The announcement of IMF executive board approval for the EFF was preceded by a series of protests and strikes organised by trade unions against a sharp hike in progressive taxation. Some opposition parties and other actors have also spoken against cost-reflecttive tariff hikes. The Chamber called for sharper focus on reforms such as tax administration, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), trade and competitiveness, labour and land reforms, which the organisation said need to be unlocked in order to pursue a sustainable growth path. “The country will need to prioritize these reforms in meeting its fiscal targets, which will be central to the IMF programme and debt restructuring. In focusing on revenue, the State should look at overall productivity improvement and curtailing of government expenditure where possible. These can be achieved by ensuring data driven and evidence based policymaking that will incorporate technology and digital tools,” the Chamber said. The statement noted that the country must prioritize these reforms in order to ensure a successful 17th IMF programme which will complement the macro stabilization efforts undertaken. “The country cannot afford any pauses in the programme, or returning for an 18th program with the IMF, where similar reforms will eventually and unavoidably need to be undertaken,” it said.

Leave a Comment

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
You can enter the Tamil word or English word but not both
Anti-Spam Image