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Sri Lanka to miss deadlines for IMF Loan?

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(Hindustan Times) – Sri Lanka will miss the December deadline for securing an IMF loan as the main bilateral debtor China was involved in the 20th party congress and had little time for holding debt restructuring talks with Colombo, reported the Hindustan Times.The next meeting of the IMF executive board is in March 2023.According to financial analysts based in Washington, Sri Lanka likely will miss the December IMF deadline and will have to wait for March 2023 to secure a USD 2.9 billion loan from the lending institution in eight equal tranches.In the meantime, the Sri Lankan debt has increased further due to forex depreciation, deep recession, and burgeoning fiscal deficit.

Since the end of 2021, inflation has considerably eroded the real value of domestic debt.While debtors India and Japan have already initiated a dialogue with Colombo on debt reconciliation and restructuring, China is still to engage in the dialogue as Beijing was involved in the 20th National Party Congress and had little time for client state Sri Lanka.

The total debt of the island nation was USD 36 billion at the end of 2021. Of this, Sri Lanka owes USD 7.1 billion to China or 20% of its debt.

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