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IMF chief Georgieva cites ‘fruitful exchange’ with China on debt issues

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International Monetary Fund Chief Kristlina Georgieva says she had a “fruitful exchange” with her Chinese counterparts on accelerating debt treatments for countries like Zambia and Sri Lanka.

Georgieva, World Bank President David Malpass and other financial leaders met in person in China’s Anhui province this week with officials from the People’s Bank of China, China’s finance ministry and its EXIM Bank and China Development Bank.

Georgieva said the discussions touched on the common framework for debt treatment set up in late 2020 by China, the United State and other Group of 20 major economies, as well as some specific cases of countries seeking debt relief.

Implementation of the common framework process has been halting, with only one country, Chad, having completed the debt treatment process, and its agreement not resulting in any actual reductions of the country’s debt.

Zambia is pushing hard to finish its debt restructuring in the first quarter of 2023.

“We need to build on the momentum of the agreement on Chad’s debt treatment and accelerate and finalize the debt treatments for Zambia and Sri Lanka, which would allow for disbursements from the IMF and multilateral development banks,” Georgieva said in a statement.

Georgieva said other countries also faced mounting debt distress given tightening global financial conditions.

“We talked about how we can prevent individual cases of debt distress from triggering a global debt crisis,” she said, calling again for quicker, more predictable progress on debt treatments and expansion of the framework to more countries.

Malpass, in his remarks at the meeting, said the discussions focused on the urgent need for more rapid progress on debt issues, adding, “Changes in China’s positions are critical in this effort.”

He welcomed support voiced by Premier Li Keqiang for a “systematic engagement on debt” during the meetings, and underscored the need for transparent disclosure of China’s loan contracts, and removal of non-disclosure and non-restructuring clauses and hidden collateral and escrow arrangements.

“Greater transparency will help investors make informed decisions, build trust, and accelerate the debt reconciliation and restructuring processes,” he said.

Georgieva said she saw “space for a platform for more systematic engagement on debt issues, where China can play an active role,” but gave no further details.

Source: Reuters

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Indian-owned ship held in Colombo after oil spill; travel ban imposed on captain

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The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has taken custody of a ship which had caused an oil spill while anchored at the Colombo Port.

A spokesperson of the MEPA stated that legal action has been initiated against the company that owns the ship and the relevant insurance company regarding the oil spill. Under the Marine Environment Protection Authority Act, the MEPA is seeking compensation for the incident, the authority revealed.

The ship, owned by an Indian company, had recently arrived at the Port of Colombo for maintenance activities. A special investigation conducted by MEPA had revealed a leak of hydraulic oil from the ship. The company’s owner has admitted to the incident and agreed to provide compensation, according to the MEPA.

Furthermore, the Colombo Magistrate Court has imposed a travel ban on the captain of the ship preventing him from leaving the country, as per a request made by the Colombo Port Police.

(This story, originally published by adaderana.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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5 companies fined Rs. 1,243 Mn. for illegal gold imports

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State Finance Minister Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that five companies have been identified for illegally importing gold into Sri Lanka during the past few years, and fines of Rs.1,243 million have been imposed on those companies.

The Minister said that one of the related companies was ordered to pay Rs.179 million as fines.

Emphasising that from now on, all licensed institutions carrying out import of gold goods should avoid these illegal acts, the Minister said that the relevant institutions will also be charged fines for the gold purchased by even third parties considering the production reports.

He said the efforts to stabilise the state revenue of the country are currently being carried out by closing all the loopholes related to the loss of state revenue gradually.

Certain parties who import gold goods have turned this into a big racket and therefore there is a mafia around it.There were various challenges and threats when the government tried to curb this mafia initially.

The Minister further said that there were various levels of threats, pressure and intimidation, and the government did not waver in the face of all these challenges and moved to the second step.

(dailynews.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Teachers & Principals launch TU action

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Teachers and principals in schools across the island will engage in trade union action today.

Convenor of the National Collective Against Teachers’ and Principals’ Salary Disparities Venerable Ulapane Sumangala Thero, says teachers and principals will report sick today.

The decision has been made due to the lack of solutions provided to issues related to salary anomalies.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Education confirmed that schools will operate as usual today and tomorrow.

Meanwhile, The strike initiated by non-academic employees of state universities continues for the 29th consecutive day.

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