SL’s adherence to IMF commitments faces scrutiny amid governance and transparency reform delays: Verité Research
January 29, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka has largely adhered to the majority of its initial commitments outlined in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme, but there are lingering concerns regarding delays in implementing governance and transparency reforms, an independent analysis conducted by Verité Research disclosed.
Facing its most severe economic crisis in decades, Sri Lanka secured a pivotal $2.9 billion loan from the IMF in March 2023. Verité Research, utilising its online platform “IMF Tracker” to monitor Sri Lanka’s progress under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme, indicates that out of the 73 commitments due by the end of November 2023, 60 have been fulfilled, albeit with some delays.
Despite this progress, 13 commitments remain unmet, prompting apprehensions about Sri Lanka’s steadfastness in executing crucial reforms.
Among these, five commitments are deemed irreversibly missed, while eight have been deferred to the second phase of the programme leading up to the subsequent IMF review.
Further complicating the situation, the IMF has adjusted due dates for an additional 27 commitments initially slated for post-November, classifying them as “pending” alongside the eight carried-forward obligations.
Additionally, 75 new commitments have been introduced to the programme by both Sri Lanka and the IMF.
Consequently, the commencement of the second phase of the EFF is marked by a substantial 110 commitments awaiting resolution. Noteworthy is the fact that four specific commitments related to governance and transparency remain unfulfilled, encompassing the launch of an online transparency platform for public procurement and tax exemptions, as well as the establishment of a merit-based selection process for directors of the anti-corruption commission.