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IMF recognises Sri Lanka as first in Asia to publicize GDF

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Provides systematic analysis of economic constraints

IMF reps reiterate commitment in implementing framework

Sri Lanka has become the first Asian country to publish its Growth Diagnostic Framework (GDF), a significant step towards addressing economic challenges and fostering sustainable development. The framework, developed in collaboration with the IMF, is a comprehensive tool that enables a systematic analysis of economic constraints. It is designed to assist the government in prioritizing policies that can most effectively remove these barriers and stimulate growth.

IMF’s Legal Department Deputy Division Chief Joel Turkewitz emphasized the framework’s significance. “There was an emphasis on the appointment in a rule-based fashion of the Commissioners of the Anti-Corruption Commission because that was seen as a very visible way of demonstrating a commitment to addressing impunity,” Turkewitz said.

This milestone was highlighted in a recent episode of Advocata Studio released on January 21, featuring Advocata Chair Murtaza Jafferjee, alongside senior representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Peter Breuer and Joel Turkewitz.

The discussion illuminated Sri Lanka’s proactive approach in utilizing the IMF’s expertise to diagnose and address critical economic issues. IMF Senior Mission Chief for Sri Lanka Peter Breuer expressed optimism about the country’s commitment to reform and growth. “It’s not only the rules it’s also how they’re being enforced and the people doing that are very important and hence we paid a lot of attention to us how the commissioners of this new anti-corruption commission are being selected,” Breuer stated.

Sri Lanka’s economy has faced numerous challenges, including high debt levels, inflation, and political instability. The Growth Diagnostic Framework offers a beacon of hope, providing a structured approach to revitalize the economy. Jafferjee called on all stakeholders to read the document. Jafferjee said, “The governance report is going to be translated to the local vernacular in Sinhala and Tamil.” Jafferjee complained about recent tax breaks that have been awarded despite the government engaging with the IMF.

The framework’s publication is timely, as Sri Lanka, like many other countries, grapples with the post-pandemic economic landscape. It is expected to play a crucial role in guiding the country’s policy decisions, attracting foreign investment, and enhancing economic stability.

In closing, the IMF representatives reiterated their commitment to supporting Sri Lanka in implementing the framework. The collaboration signifies a new chapter in Sri Lanka-IMF relations, one that promises to bring about positive changes in the country’s economic governance.

Breuer emphasizes the importance of the governance and efficient management of public banks, given their significant role in Sri Lanka’s financial system and in intermediating financial flows. Breur said, ““If banks can function more efficiently, intermediating financial flows more efficiently, that will bring down the cost of capital. This will contribute to restarting growth, and putting Sri Lanka on a trajectory of stable and inclusive growth.” (TP)


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