By Uditha Jayasinghe
COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka plans to announce a debt restructuring strategy in April and step up relations with business ahead of an IMF review of the bailout. Negotiations with creditors The country’s central bank chief told Reuters on Thursday that he had six months to finalize the package. The International Monetary Fund is in the process of finalizing a $2.9 billion, four-year rescue package in March, the multilateral lender said on Tuesday.
Months of talks are reaching a climax as Sri Lanka looks to emerge from its worst economic crisis in more than seven decades.
“When you see the employee level agreement announced – this will include our commitment to debt restructuring This will also reveal our medium-term debt targets to restore debt sustainability on a long-term basis ,” said Central Bank Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe.
“So we will announce sometime in April… how we are going to achieve these medium to long term (debt) goals. This is the next step.
Weerasinghe said the country would speed up negotiations with commercial creditors and announce a debt restructuring strategy in consultation with them before finalizing the terms of the debt restructuring.
“We’re trying to get this done in about the next six months so that it can be done before the next (IMF) review is done,” he said.