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UN: Sri Lanka


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IMF Says No Side Agreements With Sri Lanka, Qs on Egypt, DRC, Romania

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 5 -- After in Sri Lanka the Vice Chairman of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella MP called on the government to “reveal the several subsidiary agreements it had entered into with the International Monetary Fund, which impinged on the budgetary allocations for essential services,” Inner City Press put the question to IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice at his June 5 embargoed briefing.

Rice read out the question, “Are there 'subsidiary agreements' with Sri Lanka that have not been disclosed?”

Then Rice gave a prepared answer: “Sri Lanka completed its stand-by arrangement with the IMF in April 2012” and “does not currently have a program with the fund.” He said the “terms and conditions were outlined in governemnt's letter of intent... published on IMF website.”

Rice concluded, “there are no further side agreements.”

Meanwhile on Greece, Rice characterized as a “private meeting” that of Christine Lagarde, whose name was floated for the European Commission, and mission chief Paul Thompson, giving rise to a slew of follow-up questions. The parliament is out of session until September. Might it be a good time for Lagarde to make a move?

Ghana has still not requested any program. Inner City Press also asked, so far without answer:

On Egypt, does confirmation of the election of General Sisi have any impact on the IMF program for the country? What is the status or next steps?

In DRC, given the IMF's previous critique of state-owned Gecamines, is there any IMF comment on Gacemines now calling off its plans to divest a 20% stake in the Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) mining project to Fleurette Group?

In Romania it's reported the IMF mission under Andrea Schaechter asked the Government to come up with measures to compensate for the 5 percent reduction of social security tax paid by companies for their employees. Can IMF confirm that, and does IMF have any comment on prime minister Victor Ponta saying June 4 that his government will not introduce any new taxes?

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