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‘Radio Silence’ – Governor says cannot reveal IMF content in advance

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COLOMBO (News 1st); The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe told News 1st that after an IMF Staff Level Agreement is reached 'Radio Silence' is observed, adding that Sri Lanka does not have a practice of revealing such programs to parliament ahead of finalizing it."As authorities, we should not reveal the debt restructuring parameters," he said noting that it is a very market-sensitive process.The Governor said Sri Lanka had 16 IMF programs in the past, and during that time when the government reaches a Staff-Level Agreement with the IMF, the contents have not been disclosed in advance.The Minister of Finance and the Central Bank Governor sign a document called the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Policies on the basis of conditions and all the policies that we are going to implement over the years, he added.Governments in the past have never tabled this document in the Parliament, and it had not even been submitted to the Cabinet, he pointed out."For the purpose of transparent policies, it would be good to share as much as possible with the Public and the Parliament.

What we need to understand is that there are certain policies and measures that are very market sensitive. Those cannot be revealed in advance to the public," he stressed.Speaking on the Face The Nation program by News 1st on Monday (5) night revealed that when he took over as the Governor of the Central Bank, Sri Lanka had only US $ 20 Million as liquid reserves to finance imports."However, we had a US $ 1.5 Bn Chinese Swap, which was not usable.

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