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World Bank extends $500 mn budgetary support to cash-strapped Sri Lanka

The government said on Tuesday that funding from the lender will come in two tranches

World Bank

Reuters Colombo

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Sri Lanka will enter into an agreement with the World Bank for $500 million in budgetary support after the cabinet approved it on Tuesday, the biggest funding tranche for the crisis-hit nation since an International Monetary Fund (IMF)  deal in March.

The island nation of 22 million is emerging out of its worst economic crisis in seven decades and its economy is expected to shrink 2 per cent this year before returning to growth next year, following last year’s record contraction of 7.8 per cent.

Reuters reported last week that the World Bank is likely to approve $700 million in budgetary and welfare support for Sri Lanka at its board meeting on June 28, out of which $200 million will be for welfare programmes. 

The government said on Tuesday that funding from the lender will come in two tranches.

Country won’t be used as base for threats against India: Lanka Prez
 
Sri Lanka would not be allowed to be used as a base for any threats against India, President Ranil Wickremesinghe (pictured) has said, asserting that the island nation remains “neutral”, having no military agreements with China. Wickremesinghe made the comments during an interview with France’s state media. The President said, "We are a neutral country, but we also emphasise the fact that we cannot allow Sri Lanka to be used as a base for any threats against India.”
 
Wickremesinghe asserted that the island nation has no military agreement with China and said, "There won't be any military agreements. I don't think China will enter into one." PTI

Pak PM pleads IMF chief for early release of bailout fund


Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a phone call with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Tuesday during which he expressed hope that the global lender would announce a decision on the release of the bailout fund within a day or two.  Pakistan’s ninth review by the IMF under the 2019 Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for the release of a $1.2 billion tranche is still pending with fewer than 10 days remaining until the programme’s expiry on June 30.

“The prime minister also reiterated his determination to achieve the goals of improving the economic situation through joint efforts,” a statement by the PM Office said. PTI

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First Published: Jun 28 2023 | 12:15 AM IST

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