World Bank gives $100 mn for Sri Lanka’s economic reforms

Colombo, Aug 1 (IANS) The World Bank has approved a $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to support the Sri Lanka’s economic reforms programme, officials said on Monday.

“Sri Lanka has been making steady progress on economic reforms, with the government aiming to create one million new jobs through a reform package focused on improving the country’s competitiveness, transparency and macroeconomic stability,” the report quoted a statement by the World Bank as saying.

A World Bank study, the Systematic Country Diagnostic, has highlighted the need for Sri Lanka to move from “a largely inward looking and public sector driven economy” to one that can unleash the potential of the private sector.

The Sri Lanka Competitiveness, Transparency and Fiscal Sustainability Development Policy Financing (DPF), which is only the second DPF to Sri Lanka in a decade, aims to support the government’s reform agenda by reducing obstacles to private sector competitiveness, establishing transparent and well managed public institutions and improving fiscal sustainability.

“The breadth and depth of the actions implemented signal the comprehensive approach and commitment of the government to tackle difficult reforms aimed at making growth sustainable and creating jobs.”said Francoise Clottes, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

“The specific actions in this DPF operation will help improve fiscal sustainability and create the fiscal space for delivery of public services, social spending and capital investment, which are integral to the country’s competitiveness.”

The Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs will be responsible for overall implementation and coordination of the proposed operation.

Other agencies involved include the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, the Auditor General’s Department, the Board of Investment and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

–IANS

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